Armed Forces of the Philippines Revisits Acquisition Priorities

October 2023

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is refocusing its procurement priorities under Horizon 3 of the AFP modernization program, a 15-year plan to modernize the country’s military system through the acquisition of new equipment.

The AFP modernization program is divided into 3 horizons. The first was implemented from 2013 to 2017, the second was from 2018 to 2022, while the third from 2023 to 2028. According to the AFP, the Horizon 3 was planned to focus on territorial defense which means that the military must wait for threats to come near before engaging the adversaries. However, the Department of National Defense (DND) is reconfiguring the requirements to gear towards proactive defense both territorial and coastal, particularly the defense of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), due to the aggressive actions of China in the West Philippine Sea. According to the AFP Chief, some of the assets on their wish list include more naval ships, submarines, and multi-role fighters, which they plan to increase from the initial 12 units envisaged previously.

Some of the countries that offered assistance include France which pitched its Scorpene diesel-electric submarines as early as 2019 and helping the Philippines Navy develop its base in Zambales, Spain, which submitted a =USD 1.7 billion offer to supply two S-80-class sub, and South Korea’s Hanwha Ocean, which proposed two Jangbogo-III diesel-electric submarines. The AFP and DND have just deliberated on the Terms of References (TOR) of the Horizon 3 acquisition program and will present it to the President for approval.

(Source: Philippine Canadian Inquirer)

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