Anti-Ship Missiles and Their Weapons Platforms for the Philippine Armed Forces

‘ASM Weapons Platforms’
If you look at a map of the Philippines below, one you will notice is that is is surrounded by large bodies of water on all sides: The Luzon Strait in the North, the South China Sea in the West, the Philippine Sea in the East and the Celebes and Sulu Seas in the South.

This means that any invasion against it will have to involve ships, LOTS of ships. Aircrafts have speed, but they can’t match the amount of payload that ships can carry. Hence, it is only right that our external defense strategy should involve defense against ships.

In World War 1, defeating ships involved using other ships with large cannons in Battleship vs. Battleship showdowns. In World War 2, it involved planes to strafe/bomb/torpedo other ships. In this day and age, it involves using Anti-Ship Missiles or ASMs.
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Light Anti-Ship Missiles for the Philippine Navy

The Philippines’ Department of Defense (DoD) last year announced that it is looking at the possibility of acquiring Anti-Ship weapons to beef up the country’s Maritime Surveillance Capability[1]. I think it is about time as I feel that Anti Ship Missiles (ASMs) are needed for our warships in order to improve their capability of going up against enemy ships, especially at this time when China has been BLATANTLY showing aggressive acts in terms of acquiring our territorial waters.

‘Which Ships?’
The Philippine Navy (PN) currently have a total of around 14 Corvettes and Frigates. Of these, only 5 are truly modern (3 Peacock class Corvettes and 2 Hamilton class Frigates), while the rest are World War 2 relics. The PN does have 38 Patrol Craft vessels, all of whom are fairly modern, with the oldest class manufactured in the 1970s.[2]
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History Channel SEA Special Forces, Thai Marine Recon and Series Reflections

The History Channel Asia showed it third and last of its special feature on the Special Forces in South East Asia on Sunday, September 16, 2012, and this time it is Thailand’s Marine Recon force. I feel lucky I got to see this one on its first airing, and like Malaysia’s GGK episode, this one is quite impressive as well.

Their training started with a “Phase 1” training based on land. This phase was broken down into a stages, with the first stage consisted of extreme physical exercises that saw the weakest recruits both physically and mentally being weeded out. The next stage saw the recruits broken down into teams, and each team asked to not only to march but also navigate to a destination 100 km while away carrying heavy logs.

In the last stage of Phase 1, each team was placed into rubber boats and asked to paddle to a destination at night. As if that was not enough, upon reaching their destinations, the candidates were then dunked into barrels of freezing water after all that exertion to further test them mentally.
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History Channel SEA Special Forces, Force Recon and GGK

Histroy Channel Asia released a new set of shows this month of September, 2012 regarding the Special Forces of South East Asian (SEA) countries. They only announced three shows so far, I don’t know if they will be doing more. The three shows cover the Philippines’ “Marine Force Recon (FR)”, Malaysia’s “Grup Gerak Khas (GGK)”, and one of Thailand’s Special Forces.

The Philippines MFR and GGK were shown back to back Sunday, September 9, 2012, while the Thailand feature will be shown a week later. Documentary channels like “The History Channel” have before done shows on Special Forces from other countries, particularly from the United States, but this is the first time it has done so for SEA Special Forces in recent memory.

I highly anticipated the shows, and I was lucky enough to have caught the first two installments, and I was left a bit stunned, and confused after watching them.
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Air Combat Maneuver In The Missile Age

In the 1950s and 1960s, when the F-4 Phantom came out with its ability to use Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missiles like the AIM-7 Sparrow, the United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Navy (USN) declared that dogfighting was obsolete, that from thereon, air-to-air combat was going to be limited to whichever side had the better system. That was why both branches stopped training Air Combat Maneuver (ACM) training to their pilots then.

Then the Vietnam War came along and problems with the use of BVR missiles started coming out. First, there was the engagement problem wherein you need to be able to identify your opponent before shooting it down. If you can’t ID it, then you can’t shoot it down, so the F-4s had to fly in close to ID the aircraft. Second came the reliability issues wherein the Sparrows weren’t being maintained very well, and it also turned out that their electronics were a bit too sensitive for field use so they ended up having high failure rates after launch.

Then came issues like maneuverability (i.e., the early Sparrows couldn’t maneuver to follow the evading fighters), ground effect (i.e. low flying aircraft were harder to track), etc. which made the Sparrows even more unreliable in combat.
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Iraq: America Loses Another War

After the unbelievably huge success of Desert Storm, the whole world was regaled by stories of how the US military rose up from the ashes of its defeat in Vietnam, & became the overwhelming, almost god-like force it was in Iraq.

Vietnam was such a traumatic experience for the US military, that succeeding generations of US military personnel vowed to win the next war, & to never again put itself into such a situation, or to at least win the next guerilla war.

Fast forward to 2006: The Democrats have won the House Majority, elected there by the American people on the basis of their platform to pull troops out of Iraq.
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Who Gets The ASG Reward Money?

The GMA Administration, or the country in general, has been making significant strides in the war against terror, particularly against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), where a number of their leaders have recently fallen under the gun.

As a result of these successes, though, a main issue has come up: Most of these leaders had significant reward money on their heads. A recent ASG leader that was recently confirmed to have been killed by the AFP, for example, had a $5M reward price for information leading to his capture, or death. That’s almost 250 Million in Philippine Peso, a VERY large sum of money in the country.

So, the question is, who gets the money, or what to do with it?
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