The One That Missed The Tongue

1 January 2017

Gripen's Contender?

An Official from the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) has confirmed that SU-35 was indeed being offered to the Philippines as its Multi-Role Fighter together with other military hardware such as the Mi-24 when its Defence and Foreign Minister visited Moscow last December 3.

Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana met with Alexander Fomin, director of Russia's Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation as well as  Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu in December 5.

Director Fomin said the offers also included naval ships and submarines, drones, helicopters, assault rifles and other defence equipments.

The FSMTC regulates the export of Russian defense equipment and dual-use products. The agency reports directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin but is linked to Russia's Ministry of Defense.

"The Philippines is upgrading its modest defense capability and is keen on engaging Russia in military logistics, including possible procurement of defense equipment, training, and technology transfer," the DFA said in a statement last month.

Fomin told Lorenzana that Russia is ready to cooperate with and supply the Philippines with whatever defense products it needs, adding that Russia can offer "a wide range of quality and reasonably priced defence products" after the latter raised logistics and armaments issues.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in December 30 that drones and submarines were offered to them but declined the procurement of a submarine because it is too expensive and the military does not need it right now. Lorenzana however confirmed the acquisition of drones and sniper rifles. But nothing is said about the fighter jets, Mi-24 helicopters, and corvettes (possibly Buyan-class) which were part of the Russian offer.

Philippines-Russia Agreement on Defense Cooperation is being finalized by both parties so it could be signed during President Duterte’s visit in Moscow in April 2017. Leaked documents suggest  procurement of big ticket items such as the SU35 will be through G2G arrangements under long-term loans provided by Moscow similar to those terms offered to Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Air Force top brass is scheduled be shown the top of the line Russian jet demonstration in April as the Philippines participate in the Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS).

1 comment:

  1. The Russian Ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev, speaking before the press corps at the Russian naval vessel, Admiral Tributs, confirmed report posted above on the offer of the fighter jet and helicopters to the Philippines when he was asked by the Agence France-Presse reporter.

    Details of his interview can be found here