PAF admits weakness in territorial defense
THE Philippine Air Force has acknowledged its weaknesses in territorial defense in its strategic plan called Flight Plan 2028.
The Air Force cited limited equipment, bases and facilities for territorial defense, as well as inadequate training and absence of established doctrines for territorial defense.
It also admitted in the report launched last April that the organization is not configured for territorial defense.
The Philippine military has been trying to build a minimum credible defense amid China’s expansion in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The report said that the Air Force’s breakthrough goal is to “build capability to detect, identify, intercept and neutralize intrusions in the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone and West Philippine Sea by 2022 and the entire Philippines by 2028.”
The Air Force aims to have Area Readiness 3 to Area Readiness 1.
The Area Readiness 3 in the ability to neutralize incursions refers to 51 to 74 percent of Philippine territory while Area Readiness 1 means 100 percent of the country’s territory, which is estimated to be 40,000 square nautical miles.
Citing data from Jane’s Defense Magazine in 2012, the Philippines has no fighter aircraft compared to China’s 1,082 with equipped ad radars, missile defense, ballistic missile and nuclear arms.
Vietnam, one of the claimants in West Philippine Sea, has 208 fighter aircraft. Thailand has 55, while Indonesia has 48. Malaysia has 42.
The Philippine Air Force also cited limited capability for humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations and limited equipage for international peacekeeping operations.
The Air Force also revealed that it plans to acquire 24 surface attack aircraft/ lead fighter trainer aircraft, 6 air defense surveillance radar system, 4 long range patrol aircraft, six ground based air defense system, 12 multi-role fighters in the next 14 years.
“I don’t see anything wrong if our stakeholders will see [our strategic roadmap]. Our general public is there, they should also know kung anong mga plano ng Air Force,” said Air Force spokesman Colonel Enrico Canaya.