INCREASING MILITARY POWER OF THE PHILIPPINES IN GLOBAL RANKING. US launches biggest military build-up in the Philippines since the end of the Cold War

The Philippines climbed 19 places to land at the 32nd spot, out of 145 countries in the 2023 edition of Global Firepower’s Military Strength Ranking. Considered a middle power, with gains in military capability, the Philippines ranks 16th in Asia and 5th among the ASEAN 6.
The Philippines’ strongest measure is defense networks, outpacing its regional peers, where it places ninth, reflecting the extent of its bilateral military cooperation with treaty allies with the United States. The score for defense networks is measured by a country’s regional alliances, global defense partnerships, and regional defense diplomacy.
Meanwhile, its military capacity also improved by two places, ranking to 17th place. As the country inched up its future resources score or the measurement for its projected distribution of future economic, military, and demographic resources.
The Philippines also exerts more influence in the region than expected given its available resources, as indicated by the country’s positive power gap score.
When it comes to the arms trade, the institute reported that South Korea is the Philippines’ most significant arms trade partner with deals worth around $692 million. The US comes in second with $384 million, followed by Indonesia with $180 million, Australia with $16 million, and trading numbers with Japan with a total of $6 million.
The Asia Power Index also reported the Philippines posted gains in diplomatic influence, which refers to a country’s diplomatic network, multilateral power, and its foreign policy thrust.
In addition, the countries hold high-level bilateral, and plurilateral defense diplomacy meetings, include the US, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
The increase in the Philippines’ overall military strength is due to its modernization efforts. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is currently undertaking a modernization program, with countries such as France, Israel, and India, offering to give new technology to the country.
Its ongoing modernization efforts are allowing the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in fulfilling its mandate of protecting the nation, and the people, including safeguarding the country’s sovereignty.
The Republic Act 103 49, also known as the Revised Armed Forces Modernization Act, is the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ 15-year modernization program that started in 2012 and will continue through 2027.
It was designed to protect defense modernization efforts from shifts in the country’s political climate. The third milestone or horizon period from 2023 to 2027 has a projected budget of US$4 billion. There are opportunities for the sale of aircraft, ships, unmanned vehicles, intelligence and surveillance systems, communications, personal protective equipment, and weapon systems.
From December 2021 to June 2022, or in the last seven months of former president Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, the Department of National Defense signed 109 billion pesos worth of acquisition contracts for the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Programs.
Including 28 billion pesos for two anti-ship, anti-submarine, and anti-aircraft corvettes from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Company Limited.
18.9 billion pesos for three shore-based supersonic ramjet missile batteries from India’s BrahMos Aerospace, 32 billion pesos for 32 Black Hawk choppers from Poland’s PZL Mielec; and 30 billion for six long-range offshore patrol vessels, also from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Company Limited.
Last month, the Philippine Navy acquired its first ground-based air defense system, consisting of Israeli-made SPYDER missile batteries. Its objective is to neutralize any potential aerial threat or foreign aircraft intrusion in the country’s airspace.

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