Philippines Greenlights USD 35 Billion Military Modernization Plan

Feb 2024

The Philippine government has given the green light to a revised military modernization plan, dubbed “Re-Horizon 3,” allocating a staggering two trillion Philippine pesos, approximately USD 35 billion, over the span of a decade.

This strategic initiative, spearheaded by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., marks the culmination of a three-phase modernization strategy initiated in 2013, aimed at fortifying the nation’s security posture in response to escalating tensions in the South China Sea.

Under the ambit of Re-Horizon 3, Manila is poised to intensify its acquisition of state-of-the-art weaponry and equipment, aimed at enhancing its defensive capabilities against evolving threats. Key focus areas include augmenting domain awareness, bolstering connectivity, and strengthening surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence-gathering capabilities.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. emphasized the role of the Armed Forces in ensuring the unimpeded and peaceful exploration and exploitation of natural resources within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone and other jurisdictional areas. This approval comes following the submission and subsequent revision of the initial plan, known as “Horizon 3,” which outlined procurement strategies for multi-role fighters, frigates, missiles, and radars. Despite sharing the same objective of fortifying the Philippine military, funding constraints necessitated a recalibration of the acquisition roadmap.

The revised iteration of the plan is underpinned by a holistic “comprehensive archipelagic defense concept,” designed to enable the projection of power into vulnerable areas requiring heightened protection. This strategic shift underscores the imperative of safeguarding the Philippines’ territorial integrity amidst escalating tensions, particularly concerning the disputed Spratly Islands, where China’s aggressive maneuvers pose a persistent challenge.

The approval of Re-Horizon 3 signifies a resolute commitment on the part of the Philippine government to prioritize national security and safeguard its sovereign interests in the face of mounting geopolitical complexities.

(Source: The Defense Post)

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