Philippines to get Israel's excess defense equipment
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 5, 2014 - 6:16pm

MANILA, Philippines - Israel has offered to provide excess defense articles to the Philippines, widely regarded as one of the weakest in the region in terms of military capability.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon discussed the matter during a bilateral meeting in Tel Aviv, Israel last week.

“Israel also offered assistance in the development of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence capabilities as well as the availability of excess defense articles for Philippine acquisition,” Defense department spokesman Peter Galvez said in a statement released Wednesday.

Galvez did not say what equipment would be provided by the Israeli government to the Philippines.

Gazmin and Ya’alon also discussed the prospects of information exchange, particularly on terrorism and technology-sharing between their countries.

Earlier, The STAR reported that the Philippines would acquire three air search radars from Israel to boost its monitoring activities in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The radars will be purchased from state-run Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. – Elta for P2.6-billion. Security officials signed last week an implementation arrangement that would pave way to the purchase.

Part of the deal is the lending by Israel of one radar to address the Philippines’ immediate security needs. The delivery of the three radars is expected within the next two years while the radar to be lent will arrive in a year.

The radars will be used to improve the country’s maritime domain awareness in West Philippine Sea, where increasing Chinese activity has been causing concerns.

Gazmin and Ya’alon also discussed the establishment of a working group to examine the security situation in their countries and to explore efforts to address common concerns.

“The working group will also come up with available solutions with cost considerations in regard to further enhancing the defense capability build-up of the Philippines,” Galvez said.

Gazmin visited Israel upon the invitation of Ya’alon en route to his official visit to the Golan Heights, where the 7th United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) is currently deployed.

The Philippines has been sending peacekeepers to the UNDOF since 2009.

DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN AND ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER MOSHE YA GALVEZ GAZMIN AND YA GOLAN HEIGHTS ISRAEL ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES LTD PETER GALVEZ SOUTH CHINA SEA TEL AVIV WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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