Skip to main content

US: Palawan may be target of Chinese navy

WASHINGTON – China may target Palawan for a military attack to punish the Philippines for challenging its maritime claims in the South China Sea, Richard Fisher Jr., a US think tank military affairs analyst, said.

He said the presence of the Chinese frigate Dongguan which ran aground last month near disputed Half Moon Shoal off Palawan, and the five or six Chinese ships that sailed to its aid were believed to be part of stepped-up efforts to enforce what Beijing calls its “Nine-dash Line” that outlines almost all of the South China Sea, which it claims as sovereign waters.

Fisher, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, was quoted extensively by Washington Times columnist Bill Gertz on Thursday.

Accompanying Gertz’s article was what he said was the first photo of Dongguan taken by a Filipino military photographer during a flight over the disputed Half Moon Shoal that both Beijing and Manila claim as their maritime territory. The shoal sits astride a key strategic waterway about 70 miles from the Philippine island province of Palawan.

Gertz quoted a Philippine official as saying the photo showed “the bully that ran aground.”
Fisher said the Dongguan recently was upgraded with YJ-83 anti-ship cruise missiles, which have a range of 155 miles. It also has a new stealthy, infrared-suppressing exhaust stack.

Philippine officials do not know why the Chinese warship sailed so close to Half Moon Shoal and ended up stuck in the sand, Gertz said. But some believe its presence is part of stepped-up efforts to enforce Beijing’s “Nine-dash Line.”

Another theory is that the Chinese sought to survey the region ahead of an expected Philippines-sponsored, oil-prospecting venture that will begin this year or early next year.

“The fact that several ships were in the vicinity of Half Moon Shoal able to render assistance to the Dongguan is a testament to the overall increased Chinese naval presence in this region, but also a testament to the (People’s Liberation Army’s) command and control capabilities,” Fisher said.

“While the grounding was a major embarrassment for China that provided a perhaps unintended military reinforcement to its diplomatic bullying at (a recent regional) summit, this incident also served to highlight the increasing strategic importance of Palawan,” he said.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jose Katigbak Star  | The Philippine Star | August 11,2012 | Article Link

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH


The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

2 deliveries in 2018 to beef up Philippine Navy's capability

Two more platforms which will help boost the Philippine Navy (PN)'s capabilities to defend the country's vast maritime domains are expected to be delivered this 2018. This was bared by Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong when sought for an update on other deliverable items for the PN this year.
3 MPAC mk3's with Spike ER System This has been discussed already in the AFP Modernization 2017 Highlights article.  

First among the deliverables is the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd's Spike ER (extended range) missile systems which will be fitted on three of the Navy's brand-new multi-purpose assault craft (MPAC) which was activated last May 22.

The weapons are on anti-ship mode meaning it can engage surface vessel targets and is capable of penetrating 1,000 mm (39 inches) of rolled homogeneous armor and has a maximum range of five miles. And while not giving the exact dates for the delivery of the missiles and its platforms for security purpose, Andolong said the…