Lets face it, our Airforce don't have the capabilities to protect our skies against the top war machines of neighboring nations such as Singapore (which sports an F-16) or Vietnam (with their SU-27s) or Japan (and their locally made Mitsubishi F2), but partnership with our neighboring nations and security agreements with the US ensure that we don't need to.
Remember that our Airforce has mainly a dual role of giving support to our Army and Navy. Provide air support in the incursions of the Philippine Army against the insurgents and bandits, as well as complement the Navy in their operations of ensuring our sovereignty on the seas around our archipelago.
But sadly, the our Air Force is greatly under equipped, given the large area they have to respond to. So I came up with a few random thoughts about augmenting the Philippine Air Force's inventory.
I'm okay witht he planned increase spending for equipment like UH-1's and C-130's because they provide logistical support for all branches of the armed forces, as well as quick response vehicles in the event of a natural disaster.
To support the Army with air support, we need a high speed aircraft for strafing runs or precision ordinance delivery. The story of a humble wooden wonder used during World War II comes to mind; the De Havilland Mosquito. In a documentary, it was said that majority of its components were made by piano makers and wood craftsmen. Considering we have a lot of those manpower available (Taytay alone is home to a lot of these craftsmen) and the resources, and with today's development in laminated plywood and artificially strengthened timber, I feel that there is an opportunity on the following that example. Given enough support for local development, its a short to medium term answer to augment the Air Force's current inventory.
As for its support role for the Navy, patrols and reconnaisance can be provided by unmanned drones. If you look at YouTube, there are a lot of jet powered RC plane designs that shows a lot of promise. Mount them with flight and observation cameras and you got yourself a survaillance platform that saves on fuel and can be maintained with off the shelf parts and components. You can also arm them with a M249SAW or 2.75 rockets and you have a weapons platform that is capable of intervening if needed.
I hope the powers that be in the Armed Forces realize that research and development are also needed within their ranks to enable the fighting elements of their forces a chance to get the job done and get back home alive.
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