Joint or die – modernization of the Philippine Navy

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The Philippine armed forces are too focused on the army, so that the country is poorly prepared for the multi-domain conflicts of the future, writes Joshua Espeña.

Asia’s strategic future remains uncertain, but if so strategic story nothing says war and the fear of war have shaped him.

Technology trends change over time and states strategically adapt. Major wars in the last century reflected this shift, with the military moving from the grueling trench warfare of World War I to the maneuver war of World War II to strategic nuclear deterrence during the Cold War.

Since the end of the Cold War “Revolution in military affairs“(RMA) was the talk of the town, with the Pentagon claiming that communications technology would become the most influential element of change in the way the military fight. Of course, without a close enemy, the United States had the most technically superior military at this time.

The country demonstrated this superiority during the First Gulf War in 1991, defeating Iraq in 42 days thanks to the ability of its Army, Navy, Navy, and Air Forces to conduct joint operations using high-end sensors, weapons, and platforms to move. shoot, and communicate almost seamless.

This ability to perform joint operations resulted in envy among the world’s military, especially in China.

Amid these developments, the Army of the Philippines (AFP) is struggling to keep up. With the Senate of the country rejecting In order to renew the basic treaties with the United States, its only ally, the Philippines must compensate for this by investing in its own external defense.

This problem is compounded by the fact that the AFP was an army dominated and homeland security-focused military, leaving its navy unprepared for real threats.

Since the 1990s, the Philippines have slowly awakened from their naval slumber, awakened by Chinese assertiveness in their maritime areas, such as the incident at Mischief Reef in 1995 and the Scarborough Shoal standoff in 2012.

In particular the Philippine Navy (PN) Approved his 2012 Philippine Fleet Desired Force Mix concept, which included a series of upgrades to its capabilities that would be funded under the AFP Modernization Act passed that year.

Since 2012 the Navy managed secure platform landing docks, corvettes, multi-purpose attack boats and offshore patrol vessels, most of which are obsolete, as part of the program.

However, the PN has two brand new South Korean ones Multipurpose frigates developed for green water missions. It’s also made in Israel Mark III MPACs with Spiker-ER missiles developed for ground-to-ground combat.

Next is it Looking for to acquire two submarines, supposedly for deterrence, to strengthen national morale and to achieve maritime control and defensive capabilities against opponents. The AFP is too expected to acquire high-performance land-based anti-ship missiles for its coastal defense after signing an agreement with India in early 2021.

Despite all of these investments, the PN remains underserved compared to its most likely opponent in a conflict, the Chinese Navy. It is currently owns two aircraft carriers and a handful of frigates, destroyers, corvettes, destroyers and submarines, many of which are deployed in the South China Sea. This is not even to mention the tireless work of the Chinese Navy to enhance its combat readiness or its conventional and nuclear missile capabilities. It is Hypersonic missiles in particular, bring complexity to every possible battlefield.

This deficiency cannot simply be “covered” by the USA either. As China develops its ability to win modern wars, particularly with its denial of entry and territory Skills – such as early warning systems, electronic jammers, cyber attack capabilities, and ballistic anti-ship and cruise missiles – all add to the cost of helping the Philippines.

Even with a strong American commitment in the event of a conflict, the AFP would likely have difficulty implementing its defensive position strategy “hold the line” until reinforcements arrive from the United States and its allies, and she must continue to hone her skills to play that role.

Moving from warfare to RMA is not just about a technological change, but also a more holistic one. the Multi-domain character of warfare in the 2020s means the AFP needs to improve its joint activity capability and expand the scope of its naval operations in order to prepare for future wars.

TThis requires careful attention to balance the power of its troop contributors and not to allow the AFP to become too army-centered. The Philippines must reduce service rivalry and encourage its armed forces to work together to exploit their opponents’ weaknesses while denying their advantages.

If this succeeds, this would ultimately help to gain control over the claimed marine space of the country and to help maintain the rule-based regional order. A modern PN is therefore integrated and prepared for multi-domain warfare, and the government and the public should work to modernize it.


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