After a couple of tries this year, I finally got to go onboard one of the Russian Navy’s ships at the Manila South Harbor, the Admiral Vinogradov (554), an Udaloy I class Destroyer. It wasn’t easy, but it was a good experience as these ships are not as common in our shores, especially before this administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
’Better Queueing Organization’
One reason I was able to get in this time was because there was a better overall organization of the queueing system for going into the ship. First was that they finally got a fairly competent guy to handle the queue who worked hard, communicated well and had a good system for queueing the people up. Continue reading Aboard the Admiral Vinogradov – October 2017→
The Department of National Defense (DND) revealed to the Press recently that they were studying the possibility of acquiring more medium-sized armored vehicles to augment their forces. The DND said that such vehicles would fit well into any Urban Warfare scenarios like what happened in Marawi.1
Aside from China, the other country that this new Administration under President Rodrigo Duterte is “pivoting” to is Russia, and as part of that initiative, the Department of National Defense (DND) is considering the possibility of using Russian made Precision Guided Munitions (PGM) on our FA-50PH Fighting Eagles.1
A PGM or “Smart Weapon” is a weapon that is able to adjusts its flight path to hit its target. It can either be guided towards the target, or has its own independent guidance system.2 Note that this is at least the second time that the DND was reported to be pursuing such possibility,3 so they seem to be really serious about doing it. The big question now though is whether this is even possible at all? Continue reading Russian Smart Weapons for the FA-50PH?→
During the campaign period for the 2016 Presidential elections, one joke I would occasionally come out with on my page went something like, “oh don’t worry, if Rodrigo Duterte becomes President, our Air Force would eventually end up with the JF-17 Thunder as its Multi-Role Fighter (MRF), ha-ha-ha”.
And then the May 2016 elections came, and he won. By a fricking landslide. Five months into the new administration, in December 2016 Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said in a newspaper interview that they were looking at importing weapons from Pakistan where the JF-17 is currently being made.1 Note that Dominguez is also one of Duterte’s closest advisers, being a childhood friend and former classmate.2 So the jokes came out again. Continue reading The JF-17 Thunder for the Philippine Air Force?→
Perhaps the most memorable and most talked about images of the Battle of Marawi (2017) are the armored vehicles of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) covered with makeshift wooden boards that had been hammered together and fitted on the vehicle’s exterior.
Pictures of these started first coming out last June 7, 2017,1 two weeks into the battle and created quite a stir in the internet, ending up being featured in articles in quite a number of established local and foreign publications like Popular Mechanics,2 for example. Continue reading The Wooden Armored Vehicles of Marawi→
One of the big surprises for me about the Battle of Marawi of 2017 (also known as the Marawi Crisis, Marawi Siege, Siege of Marawi, etc.) was the use and effectiveness of RPG type weapons by the terrorist Dawlah Islamiyah Ranao (DIR) group (also known as the Maute Group, Maute ISIS Group (MIG), A Bunch of Fakking Idi@%s (ABFI), etc.).
Local Islamic insurgent groups like the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has long been known to have such weapons in their arsenal, but they used them only sparingly over the years, certainly not anywhere near the same amount of quantity they were used in Marawi. Continue reading The RPG-2s of Marawi→
One thing about having an active insurgency in our midst is that we can at least use our weapons in actual combat conditions. Of course that is not necessarily something to celebrate about, but just trying to make the most out of a bad situation.
Like in the case of the FA-50PH Fighting Eagles that we bought from the South Korean company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), for example. Out of all the countries that has bought the FA-50 and its variants, the Philippines is the first and so far the only country to have used it in real combat. Continue reading The FA-50PH in Combat – Bomb Delivery→