After months of “Reading While Standing in Line” on my Smartphone, I finally finished the book “Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm”. The term “Wild Weasels” is the code name assigned by the United States Air Force (USAF) to their aircraft assigned to seek and destroy enemy Surface to Air Missile (SAM) installations.
The first chapters of the book covered the history, description and tactics used by these Wild Weasel aircraft from its inception during the Vietnam War all the way to Desert Storm. The middle chapters covered the pre-deployment and deployment of its crews to Desert Storm and relied mostly on direct quotations from the memoirs and diaries of a couple of pilots. Continue reading BOOK REVIEW: Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm→
In the middle of March 2017, China’s Vice Premier Yang’s Wa … oh sorry, I meant, “Yang Wang” (cough, cough) … while visiting Davao City expressed interest in funding at least two projects that was presented to him by the Philippine government. The two Infrastructure projects are worth a total of USD 3 Billion (or Php 150 Billion, assuming an Exchange Rate of USD 1 = Php 50) spanning 223 kilometers (km) of Infrastructure for Mindanao.
The first of these is the Davao City Expressway Project with a budget of USD 490 million (Php 24.5 Billion) which is a 23.3 km highway that features an elevated expressway.1 The second is the Mindanao Railway Project with a budget of USD 2.56 Billion (Php 128 Billion) is a 200 km circuitous railway line that connects the major cities of Mindanao like Davao, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and General Santos City.2 Continue reading The Philippines’ Pivot to China→
With the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on a bit of a break, I decided to take a little break myself and post my reviews of real life or fictional movies or series with military themes that I have seen over the last couple of months. Admittedly all of these materials I have seen are from Netflix, but I did try to include other sources also for them if they are available.
Available on Netflix, Youtube, DVD and the PBS Network, this series consists of two 45 minute episodes and is originally produced by BBC. This is an absolutely fascinating documentary of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia in World War Two (WW2) from the viewpoint of the Russians. At its center is Josef Stalin, it shows his biography including his inner circle and how he rose into power and transformed Russia. Continue reading Military Movie and Series Reviews – March 2017→
Oh, what a difference a year makes. This time last year it was almost inconceivable for the Philippines to consider getting weapons from Russia. And yet look at where we are now, under a new President with a radically new Foreign Policy, the Department of National Defense (DND) recently went out and announced that it was considering getting the Kilo-class Diesel-Electric (DE) Submarines from Russia for the Philippine Navy.1
’Submarines in Asia’
Now may be time the right time for us to seriously start thinking about getting Submarines because after Thailand solidified their deal of acquiring Yuan-class Submarines from China,2 the Philippines and Myanmar are about the only major countries left in Asia without Submarine capability. The other Asian countries with no subs are either smaller countries, or countries that are landlocked like Laos, Cambodia, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, etc. Continue reading Kilo class Submarines for the Philippine Navy?→
The United States (US) Defense Department released a couple of months ago a Financial Report showing the “Reimbursement Rate” for all the military aircraft used by the US Armed Forces.1 That rate is also a measure of the Cost per Flight Hour (CPFH) of each aircraft, or how much it costs to operate the aircraft for every hour of flight.2
Relations between the US and our new President Rodrigo R. Duterte has not been very good lately, hence I’m not sure if this information is still relevant to us anymore. But the US does have a new President, so there is a chance that relations with them will improve. At any rate, I think that it will still be good to take a closer look at these CPFH data just for general knowledge.
The American company Basler Turbo Conversions recently revealed to the major defense publication Jane’s that they were offering their BT-67 Gunship as replacement for the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF)OV-10 Bronco Light Attack Aircraft.1 It was a bit of a surprise for me because prior to this announcement, all of the candidates for the Bronco’s replacement were much smaller aircraft. So let’s take a closer look at what Basler has to offer.
The BT-67 is a refurbished, modernized, and improved version of the DouglasDC-3 which first entered service with the American armed forces way back in 1936. What Basler does is to first get an old DC-3 aircraft, inspect and then do a complete overhaul on it. They then reinforce the airframe, wings and control surfaces to allow the aircraft to handle an increased maximum takeoff weight. Continue reading The Basler BT-67 for the Philippine Air Force?→
In his speech during the 48th Anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing last September 2016, the new President Rodrigo Duterte dropped a bombshell and possible major shift in the policy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) when he revealed that he had received offers with generous financial terms from Russia to provide us with weapons and military equipment. He then said that he will be sending personnel from the Department of National Defense (DND) to go there and explore these options.
A couple of weeks later, a supposed insider from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) revealed anonymously to “The Manila Standard” news publication that the government is reportedly considering the purchase of two to four Mi-17 or Mi-24 Helicopters from Russia for the price of between USD 12 to 17 million each. This is a very interesting report because if it does push thru, it will be the first major military equipment buy by the Philippines from Russia. Continue reading Hip or Hind Helicopters for the AFP?→