Minimum credible defense: Still a long way to go
(The Philippine Star) - August 17, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Air Force (PAF) yesterday admitted that there is still a long way to go before the country can achieve minimum credible defense, or the capability to defend and protect its national interests when necessary.

“It’s still a long way to go. We are just starting (to enhance) our capability. We still have a lot of things to do,” Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado said after yesterday’s turnover of eight Bell-412EP and two AW-109E helicopters at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

“Considering the limitations in our budget, the limitations in our resources, we are taking these things one step at a time but for sure, we are moving forward, we are soaring high with our development,” he added.

The national government has embarked on an aggressive military upgrade program in the face of China’s expansion in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

China claims virtually the entire area, while Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines have overlapping claims.

Among air assets scheduled to be delivered by yearend are two C295 medium-lift fixed-wing aircraft, six AW109 attack helicopters, two CN-212i light lift transport aircraft and two of the 12 FA-50 lead-in fighter trainer jets acquired from South Korea. 

The Department of National Defense defines minimum credible defense posture as the establishment of an effective force presence inside the Philippines and its exclusive economic zone.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the military upgrade should continue despite financial constraints.

“The goal of upgrading and modernizing our armed forces is a long and painstaking process. This is so because the acquisition costs of our minimum requirements on materials and equipment for operational readiness are constrained by our financial capability,” Gazmin said in a speech  during the turnover ceremony.

“We, therefore, need to persevere and be contented with what we can afford based on the priorities of our urgent operational needs and their financial affordability. This means that we have to be frugal and acquire reliable platforms at very reasonable costs possible as allowed by our meager financial resources,” he said.

A total of P90.86 billion is needed to bankroll the military’s upgrade program until 2017.

Data recently obtained by The STAR showed that 55 military upgrade projects worth P11.71 billion have been completed under the Aquino administration.

However, some big-ticket PAF projects are facing possible delays because the Armed Forces modernization program is still awaiting the approval of President Aquino.

The program includes the acquisition of three air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion; six close air support aircraft, P4.97 billion; two units of long-range patrol aircraft, P5.98 billion; multi-purpose attack craft project, P864.32 million; two C-130 aircraft, P1.6 billion; two naval helicopters, P5.4 billion; and lead-in fighter trainer jets ammunition, P4.47 billion.

ACIRC AIR FORCE ARMED FORCES BILLION DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE GAZMIN DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE JEFFREY DELGADO NBSP PASAY CITY PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE PRESIDENT AQUINO
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with