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Philippines OKs $35B ‘Re-Horizon 3’ Military Modernization Plan

The Philippine government has approved a revised military modernization plan called “Re-Horizon 3,” which would see it spend up to two trillion Philippine pesos ($35 billion) in 10 years.

Signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Re-Horizon 3 is the final stage of a three-phase modernization initiative that started in 2013 in response to Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.

As part of the plan, Manila will ramp up acquisition of modern weapons and equipment to bolster its defense capabilities against emerging threats.

More specifically, it will focus on increasing the country’s domain awareness, connectivity, surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence-gathering capabilities.

“The Armed Forces will transition initially to enable itself to guarantee, as much as possible, Philippine nationals, Philippine corporations, and those authorized by the Philippine government, the unimpeded and peaceful exploration and exploitation of all natural resources within our exclusive economic zone and other areas where we have jurisdiction,” Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said, as quoted by Inquirer.

Previous Version

Prior to the approval of Re-Horizon 3, the Armed Forces of the Philippines submitted a different version called “Horizon 3,” which included acquisition plans for multi-role fighters, frigates, missiles, and radars.

The plan had the same objective to bolster the Philippine military, which remains one of the weakest in the region.

However, due to funding issues, the country’s armed forces were forced to review their plan and submit a revised weapons wish list.

The current version has also been anchored on a “comprehensive archipelagic defense concept” that would enable the country to project power into areas that need more protection.

The Philippines is under increased pressure from China over the disputed Spratly Islands, harassing Philippine authorities and engaging in dangerous maneuvers.

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