Friday, June 7, 2013

Seriously, the Principe de Asturias for the Philippine Navy? A Case of Sensationalized News Reporting

On May 20, 2013, an article from lavozdigital.es, a Spanish news website, came out with an article titled "Filipinas se Interesa por el 'Principe de Asturias'", or translated to English , "The Philippines is Interested with the 'Prince of Asturias'". Several defense forums, sites and Facebook group pages in the Philippines and other countries were suddenly buzzing about this news, to the delight of many in the Philippines.

So what is the 'Prince of Asturias' anyway? 

The 'Prince of Asturias' is actually the Spanish aircraft carrier SPS Principe de Asturias (R11), the former flagship of the Spanish Armada, which was recently decommissioned due to defense budget cuts in the Spanish Navy. It is powered by two gas turbine engines in COGAG configuration, manned by 600 men plus allocations for 230 men for its aviation assets, and can carry around 29 fixed and rotary air assets for a variety of missions including power projection. The latest operating cost reported for her and her air group was around  100 million, or around Php 5.5 billion.

The SPS Principe de Asturias (R11)
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

It sounds like good news, but actually there's none.

The article from lavozdigital.es does not even explain how the Spanish see the Philippines as interested on the ship since it the most of the article itself points to the Indonesians, which was said to have visited the Spanish Navy base at Ferrol and took interest on the ship but eventually rejecting the idea of purchasing it. The entire article itself only used the word "Philippines" once, plus the title.

So how did it involved the Philippines? 

MaxDefense sources confirmed that a Philippine contingent from the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Philippine Navy (PN) visited Spain a few months ago to meet representatives from Navantia shipbuilding company and the Spanish Navy in relation to the ongoing PN modernization program. The contingent was given an opportunity to tour the carrier while it was moored at Ferrol, and an offer was made for the Philippines to consider purchasing it. As the Philippine contingent did not give a definite answer of acceptance or rejection, the Spanish media immediately assumed that the Philippine government is indeed interested in it, and that Indonesia's rejection to their offer means that the Philippines is left as possible buyer.


The Principe de Asturias docked in Ferrol after decommissioning, where the Philippine contingent visited her.
Photo taken from RevistaNaval.com

The Principe de Asturias was a source of pride for the Spain as a whole, and giving it up earlier than planned was painful for them to accept. Transferring it for use by another navy is much acceptable for them than scrapping it. Aside from pride, it would be financially better for the Spanish government. Scrapping it requires capital outlay, while the scrap material does not worth much, while selling the ship and including a refurbishing and service support package contract (as indicated in the article) means returns for the government and Spanish companies as well as jobs for its people. Giving the public hope that the Philippines may possibly take the ship is better news than emphasizing the rejection by the Indonesians. 

A better news was made by interpreting the information on the positive face, arriving on a news that was not supported by facts and was not even explained properly in the article content, and making a title that gets the public's attention are forms of news sensationalizing. Who in Spain would have thought that their poor former colony is moneyed enough to buy their navy's pride? 

Was it successful? Yes it was, and a proof of that is by making its way halfway around the world and becoming a buzz in the Philippine and regional defense media and social network, and with MaxDefense dedicating an entire blog answering it.



Let us assume that the news was correct for the sake of discussion.

Although it seems something to be joyful about, we have to ask ourselves again: Can the PN buy the "Principe"? Does the PN really have the capability to operate the "Principe"? Is the "Principe" what the PN really need?

Several posters in Philippine defense forums and sites welcomed the news with delight and excitement, and sharing the news to the public without really thinking again if this is indeed possible, logical, or even true. Technically, yes it is possible, the first question's answer is definitely yes. If the PN really wants it, they will allocate money for it. Then what? Before we finalize our answer on that, let us answer the next questions MaxDefense posted above. 

Does the Philippine Navy really have the capability to operate the Principe de Asturias, or any other carrier or ship of that magnitude? The answer is 'NO'. Here's why:


The Principe de Asturias with its air group composed of helicopters and VTOL fighters.

Currently the PN survives on a budget that is not even enough to fully bring its meager forces to a high operational readiness as compared to its contemporaries, and cannot modernize its ageing assets. It even needs a scheme like the AFP Modernization Program just to do that. 

Having the carrier means that the PN needs to train 600 men and women to operate such complex ship, very much more complicated than the latest and most modern ship it has (Gregorio del Pilar-class frigates). The PN already had difficulty programming to train 300 men to operate two Maestrale-class frigates, what more for a 600-men aircraft carrier? 

The PN also needs to allocate a budget of more or less Php 5 billion to keep her operational and in high readiness status. That amount is big enough to drain the operational budget of the entire PN for more than a year! Yes, Php 5 billion cost may include the carrier's air group, but we ask again, does the PN have the air group to place in the carrier? You can even place the entire combat aircraft fleet of the PAF and it may still have space for more. Having its own air group of just helicopters require the PN to spend billions of pesos again. The gas turbines powering the vessel, which is identical to that of the US Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates, was considered "gas-guzzling" by the PN high command during previous Congressional Hearings. It has no diesel engines that the PN prefer in its ships. 

A Spanish Navy AV-8B Harrier fighter aircraft landing on the Principe de Asturias. Does the PN have the budget and skill to have such aircraft?
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

An aircraft carrier, being a primary naval asset and the pride of the fleet, needs escorts to guard it and auxiliary ships to support it. Currently there are no capable warships in the PN fleet to effectively defend the carrier from air, surface and sub-surface threats. The PN, although embarking on a frigate program, the numbers are not enough. The Spanish Navy alone allocates around 6 Santa Maria-class (Spanish-made Oliver Hazard Perry-class) frigates for her battle group alone. The PN don't even have one.

The Principe de Asturias (R11) and her replacement the Juan Carlos I (L61) with escorting Santa Maria-class frigates and Harrier fighter cover from her air group. Does the PN have these supporting assets to defend the carrier?

As for the third question, is the 'Principe' what the PN really needs. We look again at what the PN has in its fleet.

Currently the PN has for a long time chronically lacks the necessary ships to effectively perform its mandate. It has no missile equipped ships, has very few large ships, mostly ageing assets, poor basing facilities, not up-to-date technology, and personnel untrained for modern warship operations. 


The PN can't even properly man this ship, nor buy it.

In its current disposition, the PN needs to prioritize training its personnel to operate modern warships and understand aspects of modern naval warfare, upgrade and refurbish its still serviceable naval and air assets, purchase more fighting, amphibious, patrol, auxiliary, and support ships and crafts as well as aircraft, improve its technology base and induct missile technology in its arsenal, improve its war fighting doctrines, improve and expand its naval bases and air strips, and retire its already overworking ships. 

The PN can't even replace this ageing asset. Why not prioritize in replacing all World War 2-era assets first?

The PN is also in a situation that it cannot even properly fund its incoming or ongoing projects like the Frigate project, MRV project, ASW helicopter project, and all others in line. If the PN and DND has the budget to buy the carrier, why not just allocate the money to fund these in-line projects? With the money, it can improve the type of frigates to be bought or even increase the numbers above the current program for 2 units.

So the answer to the third question is definitely 'NO'.


Can the PN allocate all its assets including the BRP Gregorio del Pilar just to escort and defend the carrier?
Photo taken from Gregorio del Pilar PF-15 Facebook page.


To give a perspective, MaxDefense will use the larger, better equipped and better funded Royal Thai Navy (RTN) as an example for comparison  Why them? Because they currently operate the Principe de Asturias' sistership, the HTMS Chakri Naruebet (CVV-911), currently their flagship and largest warship.


The Principe de Asturias (R11) together with her sistership, the HTMS Charki Naruebet (CVV-911) of the Royal Thai Navy, during the latter's sea trials in the mid-90s.
Originally the Thais purchased their carrier on the assumption that their booming economy can support such budget-eating asset. With it they bought 9 used Spanish Navy AV-8A/S Harrier Matadors and 6 new Sikorsky S-70 Seahawk ASW helicopters as its air group assets. Things looked well at first.


HTMS Charki Naruebet initially have ex-Spanish AV-8A Matador Harrier in its air group. The entire Matador fleet has been stored due to lack of funding and parts, with the Sikorsky S-70 Seahawks soldiering on.

Then came the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.

It battered the Thai economy really bad and defense cuts plus decline of the Thai Baht started to hurt the RTN. The ship stayed on port most of the time instead of operating at sea, its Matador Harrier air group was left without parts and funding support, and stored indefinitely (until now), the planned escort ships did not materialize,  and the ship was considered a waste by their politicians and media. Even with Thai economy's recovery, the ship was not able to really do its intended missions regularly due to lack of sufficient funding. Instead it became a helicopter carrier, a helicopter platform having common support role with the RTN's sole LPD the HTMS Angthong, a support ship for evacuation and relief operations during disaster and emergencies, and becomes the largest royal yacht in the world when necessary.


If the DND / PN does have the budget to buy the carrier, would it not be better to spend it first to purchase well-equipped full-size frigates, like the Italian Carlo Bergamini (FREMM) class?
Photo taken from Wikimedia.

MaxDefense opinion on this issue is for people to read information well, understand it, and think twice or even thrice to see if it is indeed worth believing or spreading to the public. Spreading misinformation to the unknowing public will not help in the Armed Forces of the Philippines' drive for support for its modernization program. Instead, the public will demand more from the government based on wrong information.

52 comments:

  1. Madaming tinamaan sa blog na ito ano. Lalo na yung mga nagmamarunong dun sa PDFF.

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    Replies
    1. This blog was meant to inform the general public, especially those whose interests are in Philippine/Asian military affairs.

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  2. Well that was a truthful reality

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  3. A very good commentary again Max,never fails to impress. I am not in the military nor do have the knowledge of how the military operates so what I'll share comes mainly from my own personal point of view.
    The news really made a huge sensation among military fans, fans who have been swept by what we call the AFP modernization plan and the rising sentiment against China. Defense forums have never had hit their "all time high" since this issue had become so apparent. Sells like hotcake as they say.
    So going back to the issue of having this "Prince of Asturias", you exactly hit the mark as why the Philippines, financially and strategically, doesnt need this aircraft carrier. Right now it is wiser to have multiple assets of high endurance missile firing frigates and MRV's, update our radar capability and if possible acquire long range missiles which can protect us in case of an ICBM threat rather having a "power projection" capability.
    But for me, I wouldnt hinder myself of "dreaming" of having a carrier group for the Philippines. We definitely need it in the long run, considering we are an archipelago and it is difficult to protect even if you have tons of frigates covering it (Do you trust ASEAN?). Money-wise, let's wait if somebody's interested in it and then buy it on the last minute the Spanish govt decides to junk it (we'll probably get it at a very low price, "as is" no refurbishment needed) then put it in storage. Considering that the forecast for the Philippine economy is good, wait until the Philippines is in a better position to operate it. Let maritime engineers study it for the meantime. Same reason why the Chinese chose to buy the Varyag. Change the engine to a CODAG, I dont know how to do this but I know its doable.
    Second thing is, "The PN can't even properly man this ship". Same problem that Chinese had when they bought the Varyag. But they did solve the problem by asking help from a country which had experience operating one and thats no other than Brazil. Can we do the same thing? Definitely yes. How? I dont know but what I know is money makes the world go round or maybe ask Spain if they can give it "pro bono" if we buy the ship. Back to the question =The PN can't even properly man this ship - have we forgot that most of the ships plying the world's oceans are being manned by Filipinos. Maybe the PN doesnt know how, but we've got tons of seamen who have experience operating complex maritime vessels.
    You might say that I'm dreaming too much but I'm not the kind of person who would just settle down if the answer is always no. We can achieve this if we want. Who cares if we cant operate it as a carrier, then let it be an LPD or worse a luxury yacht. The Philippines right now need a big stick to gain the respect of other countries. Do it the China way by "talking peace and have a gun". By the way this is just me.

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    1. very informative and well said, indeed.

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    2. Thank you for your support. Definitely the Philippine Navy needs shooters, not carriers. Generally navies require shooters first before carriers since these shooters will be the escorts as well. You also cannot have all your shooters just to escort your carrier, so it means the navy should have extra shooters just for escort duties. So in short, definitely the PN still has a long way to go before any carrier can be considered.

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    3. Hi Max, I agree that Philippine Navy really needs are shooters rather than carriers. But what kind of shooters must the navy acquire? I would
      prefer a high-end mix of Skjold or Bora-class fast missile boats and Independence class LCS with a ratio of 2:1 armed with Anti-ship
      cruise Missile (Harpoon, Otomat Teseo or Exocet MM40) backed by 76mm OtoBreda Super Rapid dual purpose guns and CIWS. A fleet of 18-24
      of this mix based on the extreme parts of the archipelago can be more effective deterrence than 4 Inchon-class frigates. Likewise, better
      armed and far more capable than the BRP 'Goyo' and her sister.
      I am also contemplating on the use of hovercrafts or air cushion vehicles (ACV) which don't require harbor facility. Moreover, these ACVs
      are said to be immune to mines and torpedoes as they rode on a cushion of air, limiting its contact to water. However, I am not aware of
      missile-armed ACVs in service with any navy since the demise of the BH-7. These vessels are used mostly as landing crafts like the LCAC.


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  4. 5 billion to operate her and one missile from china to put her down. common people, please come to your senses. can we use that money to alleviate poverty or fix our roads. if the chinese wants to attack us, even if we have 5 aircraft carriers, it is not gonna stop them. enough of this macho posturing when we really do not have the money. be real.

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    Replies
    1. Having carriers requires several other requirements like sufficient funding and support, capable combat escort ships & auxiliary support ships, a well equipped naval air group, submarines, etc. If you have the capability to have 5 carriers, it means you also have a very large navy at your disposal. If the Philippines or any other Asian country have that, then it means China will definitely have a strong opposition in its face.

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  5. So the Navy cant maintain ships. And What about tanks and jets?

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    1. You got the article/blog wrong. The navy can maintain their ships, MaxDefense meant that the PN can't maintain an aircraft carrier. As for tanks and jets, that is a different story.

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  6. since PH has a habit of planning then cancelling. what d u think the chances are of actually acquiring the two new frigates and the 3 submarines? i'm curious

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    1. The chances of acquiring two frigates is high. 3 submarines? Although this requirement is part of the PN Desired Force Mix (I presume you got your info there), it is not in the short-term requirement of the PN yet.

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  7. The Philippines can forget it because they have ZERO experience operating an Aircraft carrier, let alone The Principe de Asturias. Their is no way the Philippines can operate an Aircraft carrier. Maybe an emerging South American country who can operate them as a Helicopter carrier and use them to conduct helicopter based ASW, ASUW, sea Control and helicopter Amphibious Assault operations.

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    1. Nicky, experience can be obtained if the PN really wants to go into the aircraft carrier business, just like China. What the PN lacks in the immediate need for it, and the budget to procure and support it. Although Argentina seems fit for this, their current carrier doctrines as well as naval aircraft indoctrination go for CATOBAR carrier types and not ski-ramp and VSTOL like the Principe de Asturias.

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    2. IMO, the PN is not ready for an Aircraft carrier, maybe in 2 to 3 decades down the road. For now, an LPD is more appropriate for them. They should seriously hire Defense consultants to fix the Philippine Military. Right now the Philippines have a 3rd world rate military that can easily be over run by China or any of it's close neighbors any day of the week.

      You all harp about getting Western hardware but when you know the pice tag is,way out of reach. You all need to realistically think what you can afford and possibly, western military hardware is out of your price range. Look at US Allies such as Peru, Poland and even Brazil that operate Russian made hardware. Such as the MI-35, MI-17. Even Poland operates Russian Made ships and Submarines such as Kilo class SSK and the Tarantul-class corvette.

      Which is why you Filipinos need to realistically need to figure out what you can afford to buy and what you can afford to get right now and off the shelf. can't be chasing pipedreams of having the latest and greatest.

      As far as for the Aircraft Carrier, I don't think PN will ever get one. Maybe a smaller LHA or LHD but no conventional Aircraft carrier. The The Principe de Asturias may wind up in some South American Navy such as Brazil, Argentina or even Peru. Vietnam is an emerging Navy and I predict in the next 20 years see them in the Aircraft Carrier, LHA or LHD game.

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    3. Nicky, as MaxDefense said earlier, its not really because of the price tag that's delaying the AFP Modernization, but the procedures, politicizing the procurement process, red tape, and more politicizing.

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    4. Max, what exactly u mean politicizing the procurement process? Just an idea plss...tnx

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    5. The DND can actually purchase its needed equipment by G2G or FMS without breaking any law or process, but because the current administration wanted to show that they are "clean", they went for competitive bidding, prolonging the process.

      Then you have people like Cong. Biazon, Sen. Nancy Binay and others making unhealthy commentaries and political moves to stop the modernization process in favor of what they think is right.

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  8. "The Philippines is Interested with the 'Prince of Asturias'". Several defense forums, sites and Facebook group pages in the Philippines and other countries were suddenly buzzing about this news, to the delight of many in the Philippines.
    just goes to show typical pinoys who lack the basic math skills to add and budget the costs of operating defense assets, still living in fantasyland

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    Replies
    1. As I noticed, many Filipino posters don't even read the article first and just base their post on the headline. Some read, but don't really understand the issue, then still post anyway. Just look at those Facebook groups. I enjoy reading them for the sake of laughing myself. But seriously, there are a lot of stupid posters.

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  9. sir Max, would it be possible for us to defend ourselves with Frigates even without Aircraft Carriers? Because I am thinking what if we just have to invest in at least 6 frigates and 4 submarines with advanced weaponry without having the need to buy an AC?

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    1. Yes, there are many ways to skin a cat, and defending the Philippines without using aircraft carriers. If properly armed, the Philippines itself is an unsinkable aircraft carrier.

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    2. "IF PROPERLY ARMED THE PHILIPPINES IS AN UNSINKABLE AIRCRAFT CARRIER!!!!" INDEED!

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    3. May I join the discussion? Of course the Philippines can be defended without an AC. We do not need that. Our military planners does not even thinking of going beyond our borders to attack a country? Besides, the Philippine islands is blessed to be somewhere in the middle of the Pacific ocean. That enables the Philippines to concentrate on defense or even in attack mode because most neighboring countries in Southeast Asia are within the range of a fighter plane originating from any Philippine islands Air Force Base. It is more wiser to modernize the Phil. Air Force first preferably 3 squadrons of Saab Gripens or the Super Hornets which the U.S. Navy is planning to replace with F-35's by next 2 years and dozens of missile firings Frigates and Corvettes with 4 Submarines and add 2 Divisions of Phil. Army and Marines.

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  10. Very informative and factual article you have here, sir. IMO, since you have already covered the facts about the reasons behind the Principe de Asturias chaos, if I may add that Aircraft Carrier is for offense and Force Projection, something that can carry war to a foreign land. It is indeed unqualified to even talk about this and sensationalized by those few while the Philippines is still on the early stage of its modernization program towards a ‘Minimum Credible Defense Posture’.

    I salute this site (blog) in explaining in layman’s term the ins-and-outs of the current developments and state of the AFP with respect to its goal of modernization.

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    1. Actually carriers can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes. If the right time comes, MaxDefense still hopes the Philippine Navy to have its carrier, but not now. Thanks for your support.

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    2. perhaps in 15-20 years a helicarrier type like that of Japan which can also operate f-23 like vtol/stol fighters

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  11. First of all - I do agree that the Philippine Navy currently does not have the budget nor the know-how to really operate a carrier. The people wanting the Asturias now are being very silly.

    That being said, I do not agree that carriers (especially for shoe-string budget nations) really need escorts, especially in the form of missile frigates. The reason for this is that missile frigates honestly have very limited capability and will be only of use when the carrier actually faces air attack (something that has happened to no carrier anywhere in the world since 1945), so you're spending a huge chunk of money for what is essentially a bad insurance policy.

    A much more sensible plan is to simply operate the carrier without escorts, and to simply avoid sending it to any area where there are actual air or submarine threats that can sink it. While this may seem counter-intuitive if you're looking at it from a purely "general war" perspective, a few things need to be realized:

    1) Carriers nowadays are generally not called upon to fight wars. Instead, naval vessels are much more likely to see relief work (in the face of natural disasters), conduct naval patrols against pirates / smugglers / fishermen, or (in our case) to support the movement of army troops against insurgents. A carrier doesn't need a missile frigate escort if it's just going to chase down some fishermen.

    2) Even with the missile frigate escorts (e.g. the six OH Perrys of the Spanish Navy) the survivability of the carrier group is suspect against serious enemies - such as the Chinese Navy and Air Force. This is why the Asturias was never planned to be used as a frontline carrier by NATO in the event of war with the Soviet Union - it was instead meant to operate under the umbrella of friendly air bases OR a US carrier.

    I realize the above statements goes against the grain of "conventional" military thinking, which states that capital ships must always have escorts, but the reality of the "Task Force" configuration is that it was designed and most applicable during the Second World War, when large-scale attacks by air and naval forces where the norm. Navies nowadays face different threats and challenges.

    - Zinegata

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    1. "missile frigates honestly have very limited capability and will be only of use when the carrier actually faces air attack (something that has happened to no carrier anywhere in the world since 1945)"

      ever stopped to consider that the reason it hasn't happened to any carrier anywhere in the world since 1945 is probably because it has escorts in the first place?

      it's like, "nah.. who needs escorts? there's no threat!" and then BANG! ship sunked by stealth capable A-xxx aircraft. then we go "ok, we need escorts pala, sabi ko sa inyo eh"

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  12. Hi zinegata,
    1. Carriers do not fight wars because there is no wars thay require their capability, because most conflict nowadays can be provided with air cover from ground bases. Same for the "war on terrorism".
    2. On a deployment where the threat is high, Spain uses the Alvaro de Bazan class Aegis frigates to provide escort duties to either the Principe de Asturias or the Juan Carlos I, both are high prized sea assets. Good thing for Spain is that there is no large threat like China in their backyard. So these full escort duties do not apply. But here in WPS its different. Cetainly 6 Perrys are not enough thats why the more we cant have carriers now because we cant even have 6 Perrys, more so Aegis air defense escorts. See MaxDefense blog on Japan, they used an Aegis equipped destoryer to escort their helicopter carrier.

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  13. we don't need carriers. its better just to install and equipped those small islands and islets with SAMs, radars, unmanned drones, anti ship missiles, anti cruise missiles etc. I think this is what china is trying to do in south china seas. they are arming those small islets like a permanent ship. which is a good strategy. but if you look at our occupied islets and reefs they are all delapidated with antique weapons. why our mindsets are backwards and laidback I don't know.

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  14. I still have to see 1 aircraft carrier in any navy around that goes on a mission without any escort. And i agree that we don't need aircraft carrier even if we can afford it. Unless, we go around bullying our neighbors just as what these chinese are doing now. AC's are for agressive posturing, what we need is to develop a credible defensive posture. Yes, developing attack drones might be less expensive to develop for asymmetrical warfare.-jamz

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    1. I think we should develop that bully attitude.neighbors perceive us as too nice making it look like we are a bunch of stupids.this "nice" thing shouldn't be received as positive

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  15. we do not need a carrier. its a waste of money, what we need are more frigrates, choppers, jet fighters and at least 3 subs.

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    1. Neither do the Chinese...they don't have a large marine area to protect or if they do...they share it with Korea Japan Vietnam

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    2. That's the problem. The Chinese don't intend to share the marine area to anyone else.

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    3. I agree with you Max. In a span of about 20 years, the PRC has become a regional maritime power, Today, the PLA-Navy is almost in par with Japan's Maritime Self-defense Force in numbers and still growing strong. They have achieved their blue-water capability with the commissioning of their area-defense capable ships such as the Type 051C, Type 052C DDGs and Type 54A FFGs plus imported Sovremennyy class DDGs. They have just commissioned their first CV, the Liaoning - a clear sign that they want to improve in the area that they are lacking -- power projection. However, the air component of the Liaoning reflects a different role compared to USNs CVNs. PLA-Navy's south sea fleet has the most numerous surface combatants due to fact that it has a significantly important mission than its eastern and northern counterpart..
      Moreover, advanced technology is incorporated on their latest ships and all modern PLA Navy ships incorporates stealth technology that rivals those of the French La Fayette FFs. Furthermore, the most modern PLA ships are equipped with Western technology such as combat management systems, radar and sonar systems, even with an American LM-2500 gas turbine from GE.
      Today they can deploy a fleet outside of land-based air cover and this is a significant capability manifestation.

      Delete
  16. We nees this ac in case world war z happens or other virus outbreak. In movie ginamit ng us lahat ng naval ships nila para makatakas dun sa outbreak get my point pips?

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    Replies
    1. You really think WW-Z will happen soon? Haven't seen the movie though.

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  17. i think we should have a small but credible navy composed of small frigates for multirole missions, and fast missile boats, and attcack crafts to counter a conventional navy such as china,
    employing guerilla warfare tactics in naval warfare,i tink thats the only way to counter a much superior force...besides its more economical to operate such a naval assets for a country which has limited financial capacity...and limited defense budget...

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  18. We don’t need yet the Aircraft Carrier, besides the DND should provide first such as; Radar, Anti-ship Missile, Torpedo and they should also continue to buy the Italian Maestral Class Ship and equipped them the necessary armaments.

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  19. One would think that since we're a multi-island country (7,107?), we'd have one of the more modern navies in the world. I don't mean to be off topic, but it all boils down to corruption. Aircraft carrier? hehe we're better off with strengthening diplomatic ties with ASEAN, US and Japan (maybe a mutual defense treaty?)then buy more cheaper escort ships, train hardcore patriotic crew (taffy 3 anyone?) to augment to allied fleets and open selected sea routes within the Philippines so they could patrol without disturbing commercial sea routes. In any case, many more generations will die off before Juan can see that carrier with the BRP.

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  21. Spanish navy:
    -Aircraft Carrier:
    Prince of Asturias: STOLV (Harriers)
    Juan Carlos I: LHD+STOLV(F-35B or Harriers)
    Charles III(2020)
    -Destroyer/heavy Frigate:
    Alvaro de Bazan Class:(small brother of Arleigh burke AEGIS)
    -Frigate:
    Santa Maria Class (F-80): (Torpedos/Harpoon missiles,one anti-air missile launcher)
    F-110 (2020)
    -Corvette:
    Clase Descubierta: similar to the Santa Maria but in small size)
    BAM: 2 CIWS /(Harpoon missiles), can transport 20 marines.
    -Submarines:
    S-70: 4 torpedo launchers: carry 20 torpedos and 19 mines
    S-80: 4 torpedo launchers: carry 20 torpedos and 19 mines; missile launchers: Tomahawk/scalp Naval/harpoon. AIP (very silence submarine)

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  22. philippines is composed of so many islands,and what we need now ,more fast crafts loaded with missiles,smaller crafts can do this job.we need to position missiles in northern part of the phillipines or in batanes group of islandsand theres amianan island,i think its more better there so that no taiwanese fishermen will go near to that area and the west phil. sea area, the kalayaan group of islands.we must protect this islands first,this is what the chinese want to grab from us ,this areas is so reach in many ways,thats why they wanted to take all the south china sea. i have been in this area for six years fishing tuna, i remember before we can not load all the catch coz we are loaded already and nearly seven tons of tuna fish can not be loaded this was during 80s and i did not see any chinese near scarborugh and even near maclesfield. filipinos can make missiles if we want to,that is if the government has the will to do it.we must act now before its too late for us

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  23. ..ahaha..tama kayu tatay max.. bibilhin nila yung aircraft carrier na yun eh wala nga tayung matinung eroplano sa assets natin. puru choppers lng na luma pa.. tapus d nga ma palitan yung ww2 era na mga barko.. bkit puru 2nd hand lng.. anu, parang kuya lng natin yung ibang nation na kpag pinaglumaan at kinalakihan na ang damit ay ibibigay sa nkababata.. wag ganyan mga pre.. dpat itaas nting ang ating pride.. bkit d nlng kayu mag solicit sa mga pork barrel ng mga pulitiko na puru ghost projcts lng ang pina patupad.. wag kayung matakut gumasta dahil para din nman ito sa security natin..

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  24. I think the squadron for the Aircraft carrier will not be anymore a problem. just recently, the Philippines and South Korea already signed a Memorandum of Understanding that states the provisions of buying a 1 Squadron (12 Jets) FA-50. IMO, strategically speaking it is ideal to buy a aircraft carrier but the budget will be steep in order to maintain the fleet. Again, IMHO there is nothing cheap in defending our sovereign nation

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    1. For now, I think that idea is too far from our military planners to have an AC. At this stage, the Philippine budgets not even enough to buy a dozen of Frigates and 2 squadrons of Saab Gripens or the Super Hornets that the U.S. is replacing with F-35's. The Koreans TA-50 are also modern fighter planes designed from F-16 but they are no match for todays 5th generations fighters. I was laughing so hard when I read some articles about those TA-50 that this soon to be Philippine Air Force planes will be use by Chinese Air Force as TARGET PRACTICE!!. Funny indeed but let's get back to our discussion. Yes, to me it's a waste of money to acquire that AC at this stage of Philippine Navy modernization. The Philippine islands can be converted into an aircraft carrier itself because we are already in the Pacific Ocean and perfect location in the SCS. All we need are squadrons of fighter planes and air bases and missile firing gunboats. The Chinese will have 2nd thought if the Philippines can finally achieve this and of course Submarines too.

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  25. There is more information about the purchase of the carrier by the Filipines at this website:

    http://pedromillan.blogspot.com/

    *Pusit balan ditu alann buyon ang bilingbago. Sigue, sigue Bokbyron!

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  26. I think it is better for the AFP to deal with the dispute in Mindanao. We can't modernize our military if we still have our own problem (Terrorism), if the battles are on the mountains. Hence, the purchasing of warship can help on guarding the boundaries of the country, particularly on the West Philippines Sea. But, above all we can not do anything but rather wait for their decision.

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