The Importance of Military Interim Assets on Defense Planning

Military defense planning is something that projects short-term and long-term goals based on the present threat assessment, doctrine, and available resources. At times, military needs require stepping platforms needed in order for the transition from a small, capable force into a more capable and modernized armed force. Ideas coming from the plans laid usually comes out, and definitely dictates the way how the project materializes as the timeline rolls by or projected. And with such ideas shared among the planners, there is no surprise if stepping-stone process is needed to get things done. 

FA-50 jets serve as an interim combat fighter jet until the
Multirole Fighter jets take off the skies.
An armed force is capable of highly-skilled, fully-disciplined and strongly-dedicated personnel in service, sacrificing their lives for the country. And this capability is definitely enhanced further with the tools provided to do their mandate.

And with regards to the tools that are needed in order to effectively defending the nation against its internal and external enemies, the process which is undertaken for it to be materialized depends on what the higher ranks decide wherein the dimension of the threats, the geographical location, and nature as well as financial resources and diplomacy. These things are being determined with a stronger military force in mind that is sufficient enough for a minimum credible defense posture.

Such factors that influences the status of an armed forces prompts the decision makers to provide the short term and long term solutions where, in Managerial standpoint, is based on their respective SWOT Analysis which measures the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that an organization like the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard or any other organizations have, both Government and Private institutions. Such solutions are usually cited in their Alternative Course of Actions wherein defense context, usually tackles facility, logistics and spares, training, and funding in order to increase the intended capabilities gradually on a certain, planned period of time. And throughout the timelines given, it may be of no surprise if the idea of purchasing interim assets will be raised as well as given the consideration where it may provide the things needed for their plans to put into fruition.

From there comes these questions: What is an interim? In what way does it apply to defense issues like in terms of purchasing defense materiel? Why is this idea is important to consider where the ultimate goal shall be pursued right away? From there it gives us an idea that purchasing pieces of equipment needed through military planning, just like any corporate planning, is not as easy as buying a component from a merchandising store. And factors from all degrees shall be considered before making a final decision.

The following answers will give us an idea about the importance of military interim assets (as well as civilian-oriented ones) in a sense that the very reason behind such an idea gives the sense where it provides the benefits on the overall planning that a typical citizen can only grasp the surface.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar is ideally served as an interim vessel was
as planned, provides a platform for navy sailors to train prior to the
purchase of the newer assets. Photo Source
So, here is the idea about the procurement and use of interim assets intended as part of the plan for the eventual modernization of the armed forces. As defined by, it refers to a "temporary" or an interval asset with the desired purpose to provide the immediate necessities of a person or an organization where in this case, such necessity covers the protection of the national territory.

An individual, civilian-based example is this: A man sleeps on a previous evening with his smartphone still functioning. On the next day, it is still functioning and can still browse the internet and social media accounts. Suddenly, the phone went malfunctioned and eventually cannot perform its intended design. So the end user now shall have an action which is to buy a newer one in replacement to that damaged phone. However, here's the catch: the price of a new smartphone is expensive to purchase at that present date where it requires at least two or three payrolls (as for the case of an office employee) in order to have it, depending on the salary rates that an individual obtains from work. From there, not having a communications kit such as a mobile phone definitely means sacrificing a period of time without such a tool to stay updated or to communicate on important matters. From there, the end user thinks of an interim --either a used phone of a close relative or perhaps buying an interim phone at a cheaper price while saving money for the desired target of having a newer, better-sophisticated phone.

And the same thing applies to purchase military tools for capability enhancement. If the ultimate goal is to purchase at least such number of units of sophisticated weaponry such as a squadron of multi-role fighters or a flotilla of missile-firing frigates, of course, that may require interim assets with reasons that are usually beyond what financial resources provide. Of course, the lack of appropriated funds may attribute for an interim solution, but there are other factors to consider. Those are: time period as required depending on the needs such as training personnel or deterring a threat, or bureaucratic measures needed to buy a new asset which requires time, or simply political will with assurances that the tools are immediately provided with guarantees regardless if the next administration may continue to pursue in acquiring newer asset that these interim ones intend to get replace, complement or not with the options for upgrading its capabilities.

Usually, the equipment that serves as an interim asset for capability enhancement is done by basic platforms which usually provides the basic operations needed for the user like a certain fighter trainer jet or an offshore patrol vessel which can be fitted with sophisticated weapons at a later date which makes it more of a naval combatant. In the case of the Philippine Armed Forces, aircraft such as the FA-50PH or ships such as the Del Pilar-class frigates can be considered as an interim platform if plans are given to build the ships such as the newer frigates in South Korea or the Multirole Fighter jet project where there are no updates about it aside from the plans that it will be provided in the Second Horizon.

The said assets at present are an improvement on the capabilities of the Armed Forces as a whole where it can be enhanced further to the desired capabilities with upgrades provided or newer, higher-end ones will be purchased varying on the allocated funding and execution of plans. Add to that the reaping benefits at present where sailors on board or the pilots in the air obtain the experience and skills needed prior in operating the real deal. The knowledge incurred in operating an asset is also a necessity which interim assets cater aside from present-day security.


Like an individual desiring on things like mobile phones given on the example, planners including those in the military also considers the idea of interim assets where it provides the immediate present-day solution for the troops to obtain the troops needed to train, enhance and improve the skills as well as capabilities to patrol the territory.

With the provided platforms, it will make the experienced personnel readier when more capable tools come at hand where it will not be that difficult to understand about the inner workings of the assets from operations to maintenance. In this idea of interim assets, it simply gives the potential for the troops as well as for the Armed Forces that achieving goals definitely requires effort, determination, and planning in the same way as military personnel desiring for a promotion or a commendation after the sacrifices made.

1 comment:

vwdewwev said...

Did you address the issue that the present programs are like trying to bailout the Titanic with a teaspoon? What good is acquiring interim fighters by ones or two when you need to be getting them by the squadron full, and the AFP budget is only a fourth of where it needs to be, and of that amount, a large portion is spent in salaries and pensions vs. advanced weapons procurement, where are the SAMs that we need, and S-400 or THAAD batteries, and you need to acquire these assets 10 years ago, not now when even if you order them immidiately, it will take 5 years to deliver them, by which time the Chinese will be even stronger, the Philippine government and military is full of mentally retarded numbskulls who should have taken care of this problem and started rearmament 15 years ago, not know when it is almost certainly too late, even if you can find some way to lift the defence budget from 3 bn USD and 20 billion USD by 2021, which nothing short of a military junta or a second coming of Park Chung Hee can accomplish, and even this will almost certainly be too late since the Chinese are in way too strong and advanced a position in the Spratlys already.

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