I was looking through some listings of recent defense contracts awarded and other defense industry related news and I saw this interesting
Philippines Seeks U.S. F-16s Amid China Concerns
This is from the following link:
This report was dated 12/21/2011, and it was reported by the DefenseWorld bureau.
And news of the same from the AP via Yahoo! news:Philippines seeks
12 F-16 fighter
On Dec 16, 2011 StrategyPage.com
also reported this story, and according to
its author, the Philippines cannot really afford the planes, so they are looking to get some good used ones for FREE, and then pay for upgrades as
needed. Kind of like getting the software for free, but paying for support and upgrades. That would be an interesting negotiation process to
witness...As the title of the above article states " Buddy, can you spare a few..."
A little history:
The U.S. closed its last military base in the Philippines in 1992. The reason was that the end of the cold war rendered the need for a base in this
area unnecessary, so the Philippine government decided not to 'renew' the basing agreement.
In 1991 the eruption of Mount Pinatubo vulcano lead to the demise of Clark Airforce base (as well as Subic bay Naval station) as it was covered in
vulcanic ash and debris. The Americans basically fled the bases and abandoned them.
Back to the future:
Now, it seems that the Philippine people will expand their military capabilities by acquiring these F-16s. They cite the growing concerns with China's
attempts to reach further from home as they try to influence more of south east asia and even beyond.
Anyhow, it seems that based on these articles, there is a high likelyhood that the Philippines will get these F-16s to bolster their defense
capabilities. I can also imagine that there is an offensive purpose for these fighters as well, but compared to China's airforce, it's most likely
that these planes will serve as 'escorts' to any 'stray' Chinese fighters who happen to be in Philippine airspace, by accident of course...
I wonder if China even has a comment about this deal, perhaps they don't even care because it's not likely to really matter much in the grand scheme.
But who knows, China may view this as another attempt by the U.S. to indirectly put pressure on China. Afterall, the U.S. consideres itself a Pacific
Nation, and therefore claims to have a right to participate in the region of the Pacific no matter how far away it is from its borders.
This is a link to a thread from 2005 here on ATS which mentioned this situation, but it seems that it has been pretty low profile all this time.
Exclusive "Pinoy" F-16s
The Philippines currently does have an airforce (Philippine Airforce
) but it's tiny, about 18 old Italian SF-260
Training Jets purchased 3 years ago, and a handfull of old Italian S211 Training Jets. The S211 Trainers don't even have search radar, so they are
likely going to be retired as well. The Philippines airforce also had some F-5 fighters, but these old F-5s became worn out and they retired them from
service about 6 years ago. Nowadays, their airforce is really limited to using Helicopters for fighting Islamic terrorists in the southern part of
I hope this new Cold War arms race doesn't lead us into a Hot one!
Stay classy America
edit on 23-12-2011 by AutomaticSlim because: editing of course