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News & Updates
(/9/3/06) More photos of in-use equipment.
Most notable is the new HueyII
mentioned in an earlier update - See 8/08/06 update below. The
latest HueyII was produced in house without the assistance of the
factory and shows the increased sophistication of the PAF support
organization when proper funding and guidance is allocated.
Also noteworthy is the recently overhauled L100-20 in use by the 220th Airlift wing. See photo of L100-20 S#4593 here. It marks the return of C130 maintenance in-country.
Note that this also marks another milestone of sorts - the PAF has not had this many flying C130s since 1992 (when there were 6 flying)
(9/3/06) Bonifacio Incident photos courtesy of Bimbo Andrade and Eric Alvia. CSSB and the Marine Ready Force stands firm.
(8/23/06) New photos of the Jose Andrada and the Juan Magluyan - Modern fast gunboats of the Philippine Navy. See Andrada Page photo section for more details.
(8/08/06) The PAF has quietly brought into service it's second Huey upgraded to the HueyII standard. See Huey page for details.
(08/08/06) Hercules availability is improving. Another L100-20 is being operated by the 220th Airlift Wing off of Mactan. See C130 page for details
(6/10/06) The Marines have recently taken delivery of the first unit of 20mm Oerlikon Mk IV guns to help equip a Marine Air Defense Artillery unit. On another note, the Marines are overhauling another LVT for reintroduction into service.
(6/10/06) Photos of all operational C130s courtesy of Jack Hannen and Rain from PFSG with thanks.
Two UAVs have been registered to the National Security Advisor, Office of the President. The registrations are RP-C369 and RP-C370. Both are Predator A's.
(28 Feb 2006). Warning, this is an
Hat's off to the men and women in the AFP who refused to take part in the past week's events. Rule of law, chain of command held and ultimately the constitution held. Maybe there is hope for us yet.
Just so we are clear. I don't really like the current president BUT I would like to see her voted out in a fair election, not kicked out in a coup. I would also like to see the Philippines and Filipinos in general get into the mindset that politics is about making intelligent choices and living with those choices until the next election. Then vote them out if they are bums!
(26 Feb 2006) It appears that the Marine Ready Force of the CSS Brigade has already has figured prominently in events in the Philippines. When a renegade Marine Colonel, (Col. Ariel Querubin) showed up at Marine HQ with about 100 of his men (traveling all the way from Marawi City where his brigade is based), they were immediately surrounded by Manila based Marines who in turn refused to take part in whatever Col. Ariel Querubin had planned. Instead, the Marine Ready Force re-affirmed their oath to defend the Philippine constitution and surrounded the compound where Col. Querubin had holed up. They also geared up to repel the SAF and SR units that might decide to join Col Querubin. Seeing that the core of the Metro Manila based Marines composed of the Marine Ready Force refused to join, the Scout Rangers and elements of the Special Action Force stood down and did not leave their base. Col. Querubin would later surrender to his superiors.
(25 Feb 2006) Coups and rumors of coups.
The President declares a state of emergency and relieved the commander
of the Scout Ranger Regiment. The Marine Commandant in turn asked
to be relieved of his duties not because he agreed to take part in the
coup but because he admitted to knowing about it before hand and he
tendered his resignation to shield the Marine Corps from any potential
fallout. This in turn was used by other elements, notably Marine
Col. Ariel Querubin, to use the situation to his advantage. On the
pretense of protesting the resignation of the Marine Commandant, Col.
Querubin traveled to Manila to incite the Manila based brigade to
participate in the coup. The CSS Brigade refused and remained
loyal to the Philippine constitution.
At the same time this is going on, hundreds of people remain displaced while hundreds of people died in the landslide in Leyte island. It is a very jarring image to see elements of the AFP participating in an attempt to overthrow the government while other Filipinos suffer. It seems that the US cares more about the Philippines than do some of the members of the Philippine political elite and AFP. Will this never end? Are we hopeless as a country?
(11 Feb 2006) The Marines continue their improvement program for the equipment that they own. The latest example to benefit are the V-150s of the CSSB assigned to the Marine Ready Force. Cupolas from V100 APCs retired have been grafted onto the rear position of MRF V150s. Details here.
(11 Feb 2006) With the money
freed up by the retirement of the F-5s, the PAF is channeling the extra
funds to the acquisition of heavier gunships. The leading
contender is the AH-1F Cobra equipped with T-53-703 engines (same as the
Huey II) . The PAF wants to acquire an initial batch of 6.
In a related development, the PAF has finally gotten around to testing FLIR pods on it's MG520s. The PAF has had two FLIR units for quite some time. One was tested initially on a UH-1 but vibration was deemed to excessive and the program was shelved. It is unknown whether the pods tested on the UH-1 are the same as those tested on the MG520s however.
(24 Jan 2006) OV-10 crashed in a fishpond in Bulacan while taking part in exercises with US Forces. The aircraft is thought to be one of the modernized OV-10s. However, the modernization program with Marsh Aviation is continuing with additional kits being ordered to equip remaining units. The PAF also has enough stored OV-10 airframes to make up for this latest loss though more funds would be required to bring the stored unit back to flying status.
Reinforcement of the frontal
armor as well as other modifications to make the LVTH6s more survivable
A program to replace the M151 jeeps are also underway. Information and pictures here.
(December 24) Happy
Holidays! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to our readers and our
supporters! Best of luck to everyone in 2006. Fair winds and
Here's a new picture to celebrate of the two LVTH6A1 side by side....thanks again to John.
(December 16). More photos
of the .50 cal AA
V150 in Berlin
Brigade colors, and the newly
during its most recent inspection.
On another note, the marines have already completed 10 guntrucks this year.
(December 15). To improve it's conventional warfare capabilities, the Marines are forming an air defense battalion equipped with 40mm guns and twin .50 cal guns. Read more about it here. Many thanks to John for the latest updates.
(December 12). New WMV files courtesy of the Philippine Marines. Also fixed the links on the main Marine page. 40mm in action on the Marine Artillery page and the LVTH6 functional test on the Marine Armor Page.
(December 7). The Marines are bringing back a couple of LVT6 tasked as Urban Fire Support Vehicles. With refurbished 105mm guns, the type is well armed for the task. Protection is being improved with the addition of add on frontal armor in front. See Marine Armor Page for pictures.
Current Projects in the Pipeline.
Highlights of the program include acquisition of a second hand Fokker F-27 to meet a PAF medium lift transport requirement; the Jacinto re-engining program, the PKM program, new Minimis, the PAs new nightfighting weapons, modernization of the Philippine Arsenal etc. Read more about it here.
(October 01) The PAF finally bit the bullet and officially retired the F-5. The official line is that the Air Defense duties will be taken up by armed versions of the S211s. Funds freed up from the retirement of the F-5 will be used for other purposes. Some sources suggest acquiring more Hueys. Other likely possibilities are the funds will be used to fully fund further upgrades to the OV-10, fund its replacement or fund more Huey II upgrade kits.
(August 2) New Gun Truck Pictures. First Marine Brigade gun truck completed. Another one on the way.
It's Memorial Day weekend in the US. Lets take time out to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. For the fallen
(May 24). PAF T41D(E) tail number 923 crashed in Baguio City killing two passengers and two crew. It's PAF serial number is 623 and the construction number is 82-0670. It was one of five delivered to the PAF in the mid-80s. Our condolences to the families. May they rest in peace.
(May 23). The PN has officially expressed interest in the Sea Wolf Class Missile boats of the Singaporean Navy. The intention to acquire the boats was expressed to the Singaporeans at the International Maritime Defense Exhibition in Singapore. The PN hopes to obtain them without armament (without the missiles probably) and use the boats as Coastal Patrol and Interdiction Craft. (Wonder if the A-4Ss are far behind? ed)
(May 22) Clarification on the previous entry - the re-bidding is for Phase II of the Jacinto Upgrade. Phase I was for the armament and sensor upgrade. Phase II is the engine upgrade and that is what they are re-bidding and that is what is being delayed. The armament upgrade is nearly two thirds complete - meaning one ship has already gone through the upgrade, one is on the docks and almost done while the last ship is entering the process..
(May 21) The Philippine Government has put the Jacinto class upgrade for re-bidding. And you wonder why the modernization cannot seem to get off the ground? Emilio Jacinto should have finished with Phase I by now and the second ship should have entered it in February 2005. The third ship should also be in dry-dock by now (March 2005). Does this mean that the current upgrade project is on hold and we have two ships in dry dock waiting until the project is re-bid? Dios mio!
(May 21) We start our Guest Writer section today. Special thanks to Jose for his article. We also received a contribution of pictures taken from the International Maritime Defense Exhibition in Singapore. Interesting pictures. Most notable of which are the equipment used by the Singaporean Navy.
Congratulations to the Philippine Navy on their anniversary. Fair winds and following seas to all...
Some good news for a change. The first two of 28 OV-10s that have undergone the PAFs Service Life Extension Program were officially turned over to the PAF. The program was conducted by the PAF together with Marsh Aviation of Mesa, Arizona. It involves the replacement of the OV-10s original three blade propellers with a newly designed 100 inch propeller manufactured by Hartzell Propeller Inc. of Ohio. It is hoped that all OV-10s are to go through the upgrade program including the OV-10s received from Thailand.
Dead in the crash are: former PHILVOCS
director, ex-DOST USec & now Phil. Nat'l Red Cross Dir. Raymundo
Punongbayan, 4 PHILVOCS geologist, a PNRC staff member & 3 PAF crew
members (a Capt.,1st Lt., & Sgt.). The helicopter last took off from
Fort Magsaysay in Laur, Nueva Ecija at around 0840H after a 30 minute
re-fueling stop coming from VAB, Pasay & headed for Dingalan, Aurora.
All remains were burned beyond recognition. Three other bodies are still
to be retrieved as of 0700H 042905.
The UH-1H that crashed at around 0930H yesterday had tail number 324 and was part of a batch of refurbished helicopters delivered in 2002 as part of a US military aid program. Considering it is relatively "new" (2000+ flying hrs.), PAF & ATO investigators are looking at environmental factors as the cause of the crash. However, witnesses on the ground saw the low flying Huey bank to the left loosing altitude fast then after its nose tipping up before its tail hit trees & rammed into a mountain. An aircrew was seen to have stood up prior to the crash as if to survey the area for suitable clearing for an emergency landing.
All 37 operational UH-1H (of a total 50+) will be grounded & undergo inspection as routinely observed & practiced after a crash of this nature.
A PAF Huey crashed just 2.5 hours ago (1000H Manila time) in the mountains of Brgy. Ligaya, Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. There were 5 passengers on board & 2 have been extracted from the wreckage & confirmed dead. The fate of the other passengers and the unit assignment of the helicopter are unknown. More later
The Strategy Page has reported that the PN has installed and regularly deploys the Spike-ER anti-tank missile on board its fast patrol boats (the 78 footers at the very least I presume). Can anybody care to confirm?
The Philippine Air Force has officially stood down the 5th Fighter Wing and it's resident squadrons. It's colors and standards have been transferred the 5th Fighter Group which was stood up at the same time. The new group comes under the umbrella of the Air Defense Wing. Interestingly enough, the remaining flying units comprising the S211s assigned to the 7TFS are being re-assigned to the 15th Strike Wing. This effectively means that the new group is a paper organization with no flying units. Neither does it look like there will be any aircraft anytime soon. This may not turn out to be a bad thing though. The funds saved from this reorganization is being diverted to fund maintenance and operations.
S-76s are coming out of overhaul with the latest being #206 and has been assigned to the Malampaya Natural Gas Defense region. The area is slowly turning into one of the most heavily defended regions in the country. The region will eventually include three radar stations.
To those of you who are curious, the Mustang pilot on the masthead is my Dad. It was taken in 1954 at Basa Air Base. He was assigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron where this picture was taken.
Philippine Navy News
(07 February 2005). New chopper for the Navy? The navy is looking to acquire a medium lift helicopter. First choice is the Bell 412 which the PAF already operates. In addition, funding is being sought to bring back most of the Bo-105 Helos in storage including the Roman Nose ones which are equipped with radar. Do you know that the PN has two floating dry-docks? - arguably the two most important assets in the PN. Photos of the two dry-docks in operations. Thanks to Shonen-Red for the pictures.
(19 December 2004). Marine Gun truck production and development. Manufacturing and assembly are taking place each local Marine brigade HQs and have not conformed to the original design. Unlike the original Marine gun trucks, the sheet armor is welded and/or bolted into place. Originally, the add on armor was removable and could be transferred from truck to truck as the battalion was redeployed. This was an important feature since the trucks are brigade assets and normally assigned to each deployed battalion as the situation allowed.
(9 December 2004). The Philippine Navy took delivery of the first batch of ten highly modified 5.56mm M16s. The weapons incorporate an integrated sound suppressor fitted over a 1" diameter bull barrel with a 1-9" twist. The modifications were done in the Philippines and is a sign of the increasing sophistication of Philippine Marine Armorers who also designed the Philippine Marines Scout Sniper Weapon.