The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., announced on Saturday the allocation of a PHP235.5 million grant from Japan to support the development of coastal radar systems. The grant, equivalent to 600 million Japanese yen, is part of the Japanese government’s Official Security Assistance (OSA) program. These coastal radar systems are poised to be a game-changer for the AFP, providing vital additions to their maritime defense capabilities. This grant is not only a significant financial boost but also symbolizes the continued strengthening of the partnership between the Philippines and Japan. It is expected to enhance the Philippines’ maritime domain awareness capabilities, further solidifying their commitment to regional peace and stability.
Gen. Brawner expressed his optimism, stating, “The coastal radar systems, funded through the OSA program, are a vital addition to the AFP’s maritime defense capabilities and will bolster our ability to monitor and protect our extensive coastline, ensuring the safety and security of our seas. The AFP extends its gratitude to the government of Japan who shares a common commitment towards regional peace and stability. We remain resolute in our determination to protect our maritime interests, and with the assistance of our allies, we continue to strive for peace and security in our region.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Mitsubishi Electric Corp. being awarded the contract for the Philippine Air Force’s air surveillance radar project. The project involves the supply of three fixed and one mobile radar systems worth P5.5 billion ($103 million) for the territorial airspace systems. This further solidifies the Philippines’ commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities. Japan’s willingness to provide this assistance is indicative of its willingness to cooperate with the Philippines in addressing regional security challenges. Japan is also considering the sale of air defense radar technology to the Philippines, marking a significant step in its export of defense equipment since ending a nearly 50-year ban in 2014.
The equipment’s acquisition will significantly bolster the Philippines’ airspace radar coverage and is particularly timely given ongoing external security challenges, including China’s expansion in the West Philippine Sea. It is expected that the project will be delivered by late 2021 or 2022, contributing to the Philippines’ military modernization program under Horizon 2. The bilateral defense cooperation between the Philippines and Japan has strengthened in recent years, with Japan providing assistance through training and equipment donations. The latest grant underscores the commitment of both nations to regional stability and security.This strategic partnership not only enhances the Philippines’ defense capabilities but also strengthens the bonds of cooperation and friendship in the Asia-Pacific region, working towards a more secure and stable environment.