Philippine Army Gets Innovation from Israel

Israeli will help the Philippine Army in revolutionizing its military defenses by sharing systems and latest technology.
Israeli will help the Philippine Army in revolutionizing its military defenses by sharing systems and latest technology.

Israel strengthens its defense ties with the Philippine Army by innovating them with the latest military technologies. However, there is no more selling of weapons involved in the agreement.

“This is part of what I said we have exchanges on different levels in bringing in different
technologies and systems which can be used by the Navy, the Army, the Air Force, and the
[Philippine Coast Guard]. So, we’re in touch with different military branches here,” said Ilan Fluss, Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines.

The newly-appointed ambassador visited the Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command
Vice Adm. Adeluis Bordado. Both of them addressed different maritime and defense concerns. The discussion emphasized strong defense, bilateral ties, and military partnership between the said two nations.

Strengthening the Philippine Army

Fluss believes that relegating military technologies to the Philippines is essential. It’s because it could help convey a vast array of issues, especially terrorism.

The Israeli ambassador added that Israel could share certain technologies and systems to help innovate the Philippine Army. He also specified that a few leading defense Israeli companies could advance their state-of-the-art engineering and best practices to the Philippine Army.

The Philippine Navy is expecting eight fast-attack interdiction craft-missile ships (FAIC-M) through the government-to-government procurement agreement. Israel Shipyards and Rafael Advanced Defense System received the allocation and divided it into two lots.

Philippine Navy spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said that Lot 1 will encompass the delivery of nine platforms. Four ships are capable of carrying missiles.

Additionally, the first lot includes the upgrading of the Naval Shipyard. It will establish local production, in particular, as part of the technology transfer. Lot 2, on the other hand, involves weapons and combat systems integration.

The Philippine Navy expects the first two to arrive by the end of 2022. It is a part of Phil. President Rodrigo Duterte’s Horizon 2 Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

Maintaining Close Defense Ties

Both countries are maintaining close defense ties. Israel had sold a massive volume of armaments to the Philippine Army over the past years. Tensions in the South China Sea grew more extensive because of the prevailing surge of munitions to the country.

Between 2001-2018, Israeli already delivered the following to the Philippines:

  • EL/M-2022 multiple-platform aircraft radar
  • EL/M-2288 AD-STAR air search radar systems
  • Spike-NLOS SSM/ASM
  • Spike-ER anti-tank missiles
  • EL/M-2032 ac combat radar
  • Blue Horizon UAVs
  • M-68/M-71 155mm towed guns

Criticisms on Arms Sale to the Philippines

Human rights advocates criticized Israel for selling armaments to the Philippines. Human rights attorney Itay Mack and other Israeli attorneys filed a case with the High Court in 2019. They want Israel to stop selling weapon systems, military defense systems, and arms to the said Asian country. Additionally, they cited the Philippines as a country that violates human rights.

Specifically, the lawsuit accused Duterte as a mass murderer and leveled himself with Hitler.  Likewise, he bombed minority childrens’ schools and supported violence again women, in particular.

No More Sale of Weapons

Although Israel will share its military defense techniques and technology, it won’t sell any weapons to the Philippines. Fuss clarified that his country is just small. It needs a considerable arsenal to maintain defense capabilities, especially with the growing tensions in Iran.

Nevertheless, Israel pledges to keep discussing and sustaining a “comprehensive” defense cooperation agreement with the Philippines. Both nations are collaborating on the agreement’s draft.

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