South Korea to help modernize PH defense capability

South Korea to help modernize PH defense capability

It is very apparent if we are to stand as a strong nation we will need a strong and modernize military.

Long have we relied on the ‘shield’ the Americans provided when they were still here – the biggest Airforce base in Asia-Clark Air Base, and the very strategic Subic Naval Base in Zambales. And that was all been history when we decided to boot them out of the country in 1992.
PH-SoKor Relations (photo credit to owner)

Neglect, corruption, and simply not giving it  a priority has made our armed forces one of the weakest in Asia, a staggering twist of fate when in the 1960’s we were ranked second next to Japan as having a modern armed forces.

Slowly we are picking up the pieces for the past years, the military top brass were able to convince the national government the need to modernize, add the fact that there is brewing problem in the West Philippine Sea that has accelerated that need to be more immediate.

South Korea, one of the Philippines’ closest ally in Asia has made an interest in helping the country in its bid to modernize its military.

South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-Man in an exclusive interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) said that : “Korea is now looking to provide helicopters, small firearms and eventually submarines, since Korean military gear and arsenal are cost-effective and would contribute to enhancing the defense capability of the Philippines.”

One of the game changers in winning the Marawi conflict was the Philippine Air Force consistent air bombing sortie with the use of its most modern aircraft in its arsenal- the South Korean made FA-50.

Ambassador Han said Korea is “very happy to be part of the modernization of the Philippine military by reinforcing the capability of the Air Force.”

“Even President Duterte and Defense Secretary Lorenzana were pleased with the Korean FA-50 fighter planes, which proved to be very effective in fighting terrorists in Marawi last year,” Han said.

“Korea will continue to be part of this modernization program by providing more military equipment,” he added.

Aside from the 12 brand new FA-50, the Philippines also bought 717 brand new  KM450 trucks from KIA motors in South Korea worth P1.937 in 2016,and there is the ongoing construction of the two semi-stealth frigates for the Philippine Navy being done by Hyundai Heavy Industries. A clear indication of a strong military alliance between both countries.

Currently representatives from South Korea are making a push for their KUH-1 Surion transport helicopter, this would be an alternative after the country cancelled the 16 Bell 412 EPI orders from Bell Helicopter and Canadian Commercial Corporation earlier this year.

Also, since the recent announcement by the Armed Forces of the Philippines of its intent to acquire submarines for its navy, the South Korean has been making a push to sell its Chang Bogo a diesel-electric attack submarines- a south Korean license-built version of the ,German type 209-1200 class submarines.

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Report from PNA

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