Philippines activates new aviation, rocket artillery, missile units

Philippine Army Cessna light aircraft of the Army Aviation Regiment (Prov.). Photo c/o Philippine Army.

The Philippine Army (PA) activated new units on 3 October 2019, in anticipation of the arrival of new assets to fulfil new roles.

APDJ was able to ask leading Philippine defense page MaxDefense Philippines for comments on the new units.

First is the upgrading of the Army Aviation “Bagwis” Battalion into the Army Aviation Regiment (Provisional) (AAvnR (P)), as the PA expects to increase the number of aviation assets in its fleet. Currently the PA operates only a handful of light fixed wing trainer and observation aircraft, and is in the process of having helicopters and new fixed wing aircraft. MaxDefense Philippines confirmed to APDJ that the PA is in the process of ordering its first helicopters for training and medical evacuation, while also looking to acquire light attack helicopters and command & control aircraft.

MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that the PA is eyeing the Robinson R-44 Raven for its training requirements, and the Sikorsky HH-60M MEDEVAC Black Hawk for its medical evacuation and rescue helicopters.

The activation of the 2nd Multiple Launch Rocket System Battery (2MLRS Bty) is in anticipation on the delivery of South Korea K136 Kooryong MLRS systems, which was reported in APDJ before. The Philippines is expecting to receive 4 batteries of surplus K136 MLRS from the Republic of Korea Army, 3 batteries are for the PA, and 1 battery for the Philippine Marine Corps. MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that delivery for these should happen anytime soon.

Another new unit, the 1st Land Based Missiel System Battery (1LBMS Bty) was also activated and will be one of the units involved in operating and maintaining new tactical surface-to-surface missile systems. MaxDefense Philippines mentioned that the Philippine Army is already in the negotiation stage with the Indian government on the possible acquisition of the BrahMos land-based anti-ship and land attack missile system, which allows the PA to fire at naval or land targets more than 250 kilometers away.

The PA is currently modernizing its forces, with new assets coming in to replace older assets, as well as adding new capability to meet growing security challenges from terrorists and aggressive neighbours like China. 

[1] Philippine Army
[2] MaxDefense Philippines
[3] Jane’s Defence Weekly

Philippines activates new aviation, rocket artillery, missile units Philippines activates new aviation, rocket artillery, missile units Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on October 08, 2019 Rating: 5

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