• Knowing the Philippine Army's BO-105 Helicopters

    These donated helicopters operated by the Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment provides much needed field support, especially on medevac-related evacuation and other logistical concerns.

  • Updates on the PAF's C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft

    The Philippine Air Force, for the first time, sets to have at least three (3) brand new cargo aircraft from Lockheed Martin, which is done through a commercial deal between the two entities.

  • Phil. Army's Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge Project

    This AVLB with a Merkava IV chassis serves as the first platform of such type for the Philippine Army to use, and may set as a reference for the service branch’s future armored vehicle plans and programs later on.

  • Navantia's Submarine Offer to the Philippine Navy

    The Spanish shipbuilder has offered its submarine offer for the Philippine Navy's submarine project. How will it fare compare to its competitors like France's Naval Group and South Korea's Hanwha Ocean?

  • Knowing the AW-109 Helicopter of both PAF and PN

    Both the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy possess this type of helicopter that basically define as a first step towards a more capable Armed Forces, implemented during the First Horizon of the AFP Modernization Program.

  • The Phil. Army's Interest on the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM

    The Philippine Army is improving its firepower capabilities, and it witnessed the performance brought by this anti-tank missile during the Balikatan 2023 Exercises. Now they are considering it for their systems.

  • Know More About Us

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Is Phil. Air Force Ready To Have Multi-role Fighter Jets?

Victory is achievable when one rules the skies. And that will not be possible without the use of MRFs or Multi-role fighter jets like F-16, JAS 39 Gripen or J-10 possessed by the enemy like the People's Liberation Army Air Force or PLAAF.


The Philippine air force as of this posting has two lead-in fighter trainer jets from South Korea (FA-50PH) with ten more arriving soon. These jets are meant to train pilots so that soon they can ride and control MRFs as it was stipulated through the pipeline upon the guidelines of the Department of National Defense's Horizon two of the AFP Modernization program. With this calls upon defense-related sites that a decent MRF jet must be acquired as soon as possible, all in the name of territorial integrity.

With notes from Tan Tian Cai [link here]
F-16 fighter where the FA-50 is derived.
A lot of people have been said about the future of the PAF and about how best the PAF should acquire a proper MRF capability as soon as possible.

Often times, such discussions often focus on the subject of what kind of fighter the PAF should buy. The discussion will often focus on the technical and performance aspects of the individual aircraft themselves.

One major consideration that's often ignored in such debates is the current state of the PAF itself. At best, people would say something like: "We know the PAF is currently weak. Hence why we must buy the best MRF we can afford to make us strong again". While that's a good point in itself, it doesn't address the real problem facing the PAF. It's not so much what you buy. But rather, do you have the technical know-how to properly maintain complex equipment in good working condition AFTER you've bought it?

It's an often overlooked fact that buyers of imported equipment, any equipment, have to adapt to the technical standards established by the seller and not the other way around. You have to learn the principles the equipment is designed on as well as how those principles affect the machine in its regular operation and in its maintenance.

Such knowledge requires special study and an established foundation of the right sets of skills that are meant to get absorbed. In simple terms, you can't simply just ask a car mechanic to repair a fighter jet nor a bus driver to fly a plane. That simply means a plane is a complex machine to obtain.

The real question to ask is hence not if the Philippines can afford to buy the latest MRF. Its more on manpower that comes with this simple, logical and as well necessary question: Do you guys have the right people and the right technology base to properly maintain any high tech fighter you buy in the future?

Looking at the current state of the PAF, where they struggle to keep even a 1980's vintage SIAI-Marchetti S-211 in serviceable conditions, it doesn't bode well for the future fleet. The good news is the FA-50PH currently in service are so far being maintained in good condition. That is a good sign that things are turning the corner. However, in the long run, a reevaluation may be needed as problems tend to occur as equipment gets older. The ability of the PAF to properly maintain its FA-50PH, in the long run, would be the benchmark on which to judge if the PAF is ready for an MRF fleet.


Technical know-how regarding such weaponry is not possible without proper maintenance. And speaking of maintenance, the Philippine Air Force is far from reaching the necessary goals of what is called an ideal environment which means a longer lifespan for the jets. Citing that it was slowly developed upon the purchase of the FA-50s, it is deemed hopeful that within six-years time, this organization will already have decent weapons together with decent support services. For now, let us satisfy as to what we have right now.


New Admin's Plans for AFP Modernization

In a democracy, a new set of leader changes upon the specific fixed period upon what the constitution stipulates it. And with these comes opportunities and risk, one being the change in policy, approach, and mindset upon implementing projects.

A newly elected leader may choose whether to stick with the status quo or not.


The former administrations started the AFP Modernization Program way back in 1995 by no other than former President Fidel V. Ramos. At that time, the Philippines have its economy growing and was branded as one of the rising tigers. 

Such a program also prompted the sale of Fort Bonifacio which is now the business district of Bonifacio Global City. All of such efforts to have a credible force were grind to a halt when the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis strikes in, with nothing to acquire under his administration.

The program was slow along the way when former President Estrada rose to power in 1998. He was the one who declared an all-out war against the Moro rebels in the mid-2000s. Few weapons were acquired at that time. 

One of which is the three Jacinto-class corvettes that were straight out from the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy fleet in Hong Kong when it was turned over to the Chinese after years of colonial rule. However, it was not enough to suffice the needs. 

In 2001, he was removed from power as the result of the people's power movement inspired by the 1986 revolution where the ex-President was accused of plunder and corruption. When former Vice President Gloria Arroyo takes over and becomes the President, the modernizations were mixed with severe allegations and irregularities and as well as the program itself was not laid out well. 

Not to mention that the funds are already there and are awaiting implementation. The original MRV and SSV programs, both were the brainchild of this administration was then revised by the next administration whose modernization efforts were realized. Upon the second Aquino administration rose to power in 2010, it was sought to realize a couple of programs that will enhance the foundations of the modernization program itself. 

With the old modernization program comes to an end, it was in his administration where a new law was passed and was continuously implemented until today. 

There were huge changes that were happening in the organization for the past six years. 

Some of the big-ticket acquisitions that took place in his administration were the ex-Hamilton class cutters/Del-Pilar class Frigates, BRP Tarlac, two FA-50PH (with 10 coming soon), 140+ M113s, and brand-new M4s, with several more among others.

Now, the new administration sets in. And the uncertainties are there citing that this administration sought bilateral talks to China, setting priorities to internal defense, the continuation of the past administration’s achievements, and so on. 

In this case, these issues are seeking to get analyzed as the new President Rodrigo Duterte and the new Defense Secretary Gen. Delfin Lorenzana will start to achieve things regarding defense issues within six months to a year.

Modernization Achievements.
Photo by Philippine Military Modernization Today.

Their plan was primarily almost similar to the previous one. The continuation of the horizons is deemed certain with horizon two focused more on the internal defense at the approximately two years. Accordingly, the projects materialized on the horizon one, the the brainchild of the former Aquino administrations that was handled over to the present Duterte administration such as the two LRPAs (long-range patrol aircraft), two new frigates (in which Hyundai Heavy Industries was deemed a winner) and six close-air support aircraft (preferably Super Tucano), are meant to be continued…

Accordingly to the sources as per the release on the MaxDefense Facebook page, the quotation is as follows:

“MaxDefense received information from several of its sources that all 3 major armed services of the AFP will be or were already requested to adjust its Horizon 2 procurement schedules but will almost entirely stick to its original Horizon 2 procurement plans. Within the first 2 years of the new administration, the the program will focus on assets that can be used in internal security operations.

Among those that will be given priority are:

Army: Individual and crew-served weapons, force protection equipment, night fighting equipment, C4ISTAR (Included communications and UAVs), gun and rocket artillery systems, additional M113s, ground mobility assets (trucks), and surveillance aircraft.

Navy: Missile Multipurpose Attack Crafts, Littoral Patrol Interdiction Crafts, SSV-LPD, and Landing Crafts-Utility (LCU), AAVs, helicopters for SSVs, and equipment for the Philippine Marine Corps.

Air Force: more AW-109s, Bell 412EPs, C-295M, NC-212i, air defense radars, and additional CAS aircraft in addition to Horizon 1 batch, smart & guided ground-attack munitions for CAS, FA-50, and AW-109E, and LRPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) with Ground Surveillance & ELINT/SIGINT secondary roles.

Take note that these procurement plans are actually part of the original Horizon 2 "wish lists" submitted by all major services, IN ADDITION to the other line items that are more focused on territorial defense like additional FA-50s and MRFs, frigates & corvettes, and tanks.

Speaking of which, these are indeed promising as it seems to be.

Big-ticket items as this Frigate in Horizon 1 are still a priority.
The aforementioned quotations revealed something important. That is, the modernization program will proceed as planned. Only the difference is, priority is more on the remaining horizon 1 projects and the internal security armaments of horizon 2.

Speaking of which, the bargain of the modernization program in itself is indeed promising as well worrying at the same time. 

The good side is that big-ticket projects like the Frigates and the Long-range patrol aircraft are still the priority since the present administration is sincere to the contracts and projects made throughout the past administration. 

However, the bad side here means that other territorial defense projects such as additional frigates, corvettes, MRFs, and additional FA-50PH LIFT jets will be pushed further as they are materializing on combating internal threats citing that rebellion, terrorism, and kidnappings are more of a concern than that of Chinese aggression. 

Furthermore, the leverage for the territorial defense focuses more on the deal with the Americans via EDCA and the long-awaited decision of the arbitrary tribunal. Such an idea is true, not bad at all. 

In this case, the ball rolls along as the defense enthusiast and experts alike still waiting on what this administration will have to offer within a year or two. Too good to be true, but it is better to have a nice observation once in a while. 

M-113 APC with a remote-control gun.
Source: CNN Philippines.
Such things, once in a while, are indeed uncertain since the new administration has plans that have yet to be laid out. Speaking of which, change is now with the chance of improving this nation or the other way around.

Now with these plans laid out, it was not clear as of this moment as to when doing these things materialized and/or when will be implemented. As far as we know, projects not yet awarded or given contracts taken over to this administration are still checked out for irregularities as part of standard operating procedures all for the sake of accountability and transparency to make projects credible and clean. Speaking of which, it will still go as planned as quotations are given citing that the plans were already shown out. What remains is the materialization of things and the signing of contracts that make such plans a reality.

The point being: As long as the plans were laid down and were implemented accordingly, we are in good hands.


The plans for a modernization program will resume accordingly with the priorities about horizon one items and internal security items of horizon two. Territorial defense items meanwhile will also be materialized at the later date of the administration. In such a case comes the benefit and the risk. 

Such benefit that there will still assets coming for the whole forces to do its mandate of defending the nation. However, not all of those things will arrive at due time. Overall, it was still a hopeful thing to get done especially to the satisfaction of those who are witnessing it fully. Uncertain as it seems, but things are still meant to get done accordingly.




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