10 November 2014
FOR MANY DECADES, naval modernization in the Philippines has been suspended to give way to an army-led warfare against insurgency. This has led to a tremendous allocation of resources in support of the development of personnel, operations and capital needs of the ground forces, leaving the archipelagic state devoid of a focused and well-financed maritime strategy.
With the ongoing peace process that ended the Moro rebellion and the “handover” of Communist-cleared provinces to the local governments, a more prominent role for the Philippine Navy is being called for as the Armed Forces of the Philippines shifts from internal to external defense.
…Koh Swee Lean Collin, associate research fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) in Singapore, notes that the makeup of an amphibious capability upgrade is inclusive of the development of “specialized amphibious ground forces” and the procurement of amphibious vessels such as landing platform docks (LPD), large amphibious landing ships and amphibious transport docks, landing helicopter docks (LHDs, such as amphibious assault ships), amphibious troop carriers, aircraft carriers, etc.
…To Wu Shang-su, RSIS research fellow, the choice is a zero-sum game that would translate to giving priority to sea-control and sea-denial-capable patrol vessels, fast-attack crafts and the like, over sea lift-capable amphibious forces.
…RSIS analyst Euan Graham‘s pragmatic perspective highlights the duality of purpose of certain types of amphibious forces such as frigates which can be positioned in realpolitik terms and for humanitarian assistance. Objectives of “force mobility,” “territorial defense,” and “power projection” can be achieved when amphibious forces are deployed for joint exercises.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 12/11/2014