November 29, 2015

Japan providing small aircraft & patrol boats to the Philippines

Will the 10 x 40 meter class patrol boats Japan is building for the Philippines be developments of the Bizan (aka Raizan) class? PS 07 (above) and PS 06 (below). Weighs 200 tons ("PS" = Patrol Vessel Small). 46 m long. 
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Japan Coast Guard Bizan (aka Raizan) class patrol boat (Photo courtesy DDmurasame
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A Japanese Navy Beechcraft TC-90 King Air (Photo courtesy planespotters). Japan is likely to provide the Philippines with three.
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PETE'S COMMENT

Japan is providing the Philippines with 10 small patrol boats and 3 small patrol aircraft. These are at the small, inexpensive coast guard level rather than naval scale. Japan may be cautious:

-  not to escalate its paramilitary assistance program too quickly or expensively. This may be partly due to domestic Japanese political sensitivities over military assistance programs.

-  not to start at weapons too large, expensive and complex. This may raise the expectations of  recipients too high for subsequent vessels and aircraft.

-  also Japan may not wish its assistance programs to escalate tensions with China too quickly. China may tend to be hyper-sensitive to the weaponisation of South China Sea tensions. This is even though China's island building program may be the most substantial program of militarisation. 

-  Japan also may not wish to fully take over the US's role of major weapons provider to the Philippines (that has included large coastguard cutter patrol ships).

Reuters via Japan Today, November 22, 2015 advises http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abe-considering-request-from-philippines-for-large-ships-to-patrol-south-china-sea  “There have been media reports that Tokyo would supply Manila with three used Beechcraft TC-90 King Air aircraft suitable for maritime surveillance in the South China Sea. ... Japan is also building 10 40-meter-long vessels for the Philippine coastguard. Manila [says it] needs 100-meter-long patrol ships.”

DETAILS FROM S

"S" in Comments, at Philippines Naval Challenges – Submarines Less Useful of October 21, 2015 has provided, what appear to be, hitherto unpublished details about Japan's provision of 40 meter patrol boats to the Philippines:

Japan supports the maintenance of the Philippines maritime security by supplying patrol aircraft and patrol boats building through the “Philippine Coast Guard Maritime Security Enhancement Project” agreed December 14, 2013. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) is for patrol boats smaller than [Australia's 57 meter] Armidale-class, but the Japanese boats will show good performances. Target date for the project for 10 multipurpose ships, about 40m long, is around February 2018. Likely specifications include:

-  Length: 44.00m
-  Beam: 7.50m
-  Depth: 4.00m
-  Engine: MTU 12V4000M93L x 2 (2580kW x 2)
-  Officer and crew: 5 and 20 (total 25)
-  Voyage speed: 15 knot/h
-  Shipbuilder: Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU). JMU is one of the biggest warship builders in Japan, having built helicopter carrier“Hyuga”. [JMU was established in 2013 within IHI Corporation.]

Pete and S

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

I introduce a quite interesting opinion on Japan-Philippines Alliance [1].

While almost no discussion in the media or the Diet, Japan is entering into alliance with the Philippines. Granting 10 patrol boats (the total of 12.8 billion yen) ,the consultation of the Status of Forces Agreement on the Self-Defense Forces to be dispatched to the Philippines, and improvement of the interoperability capability due to joint exercises are aimed. President Aquino told that joint operations would be also needed in future at a press conference in Tokyo. Japan seems to satisfy the US request of covering defense of the Philippines who confront with China on the Spratly Islands, but alliance with powerless and poor Philippines has the risk of confrontation with China.

PM Shinzo Abe inherited the decision of the former (Japan Democrat Party) administration, met with President Aquino in Manila in July 2013, and committed to grant 10 new patrol boats (44m in length, 200t in weight) by the ODA. The Philippines further asked the large patrol ship two ships (100m in length, 1800t in weight) to be belonged to the Philippine Navy. Gun is not loaded at the time of delivery, but the ships have pedestal and are bulletproof. Japanese government admits they are weapons.

While Japanese public has negative opinion on the export of weapons, but is indifferent to the grant of weapons. The latter is more troublesome than the former. While the former is business, the latter is a military aid and is regarded as a hostile act from other side. We need exceptionally careful judgment in the latter.

In particular, the Philippines coast guards have a tendency to fire easily. They hit 48 shots in Taiwan fishing boat and killed one Taiwanese fisherman in the Northern Luzon (Taiwan and the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines) . They also killed one Taiwanese and one Chinese fisherman in 1996 and 2000, respectively.

As the United States is also the former colonial power and has the Mutual Defense Treaty Between the Republic of the Philippines and the United States of America, US wants to be good to the Philippines

Anonymous said...

However, US wants to avoid the decisive confrontation with China because of huge mutual economic relations. When the Philippines have requested the assistance of the maritime defense, US offer 46 and 20 years old Hamilton-class and Cyclone-class boats, respectively. Instead, US request Japan to offer new patrol boats, I think.

The grant of the patrol boats to the Philippines and the future capacity building assistance (=military aid) are accompanied by fiscal spending and are very important issues on security and diplomacy of Japan. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Three Principles of Defense Equipment Transfer, the provision of equipment by the ODA and the Status of Forces Agreement with Philippines are independent each other, and the Status of Forces Agreement without revision of law does not need approval by the Diet. The Philippines can obtain the parts by ODA , assemble them to the weapon and become the ally.

Alliance with other countries without discussion in the parliament nor information to the public is wrong and silly. Other opposition parties and media should be noted this issue.

[1] http://diamond.jp/articles/-/74608, ------------- the Philippines without national discussion”

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

I have reposted your comments here.

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Japan seems to offer TC-90 instead of P-3C. I think that expensive maintenance cost [1] and lack of supporting warships are serious obstructions in application of P-3C to the Philippines. For example, as P-3C equips numbers of expendable sonobuoy whose price is million yens, it is too expensive for the Philippines. Also anti-submarine frigate ships to support P-3C do not exist.

[1] Annual maintenance and operation cost is ca.700 million yen for P-1, the latest antisubmarine patrol aircraft. In the case of P-3C, we can expect the cost is lower, but it is still very expensive.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S

The Philippines would of course not have the money to maintain P-1s or P-8.

For readers it is best to give figures in US Dollars. So 700 million yen = US$5.68 million.

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Basler BT-67 will be a more appropriate Multi Mission Patrol Aircraft for the Philippines

Peter Coates said...

Hi Anonymous

This product you suggest may be too large, fuel hungry and a conversion of a 1940s design. It is up to Japan to decide.

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Currently, the maritime corporation, through TC90s and patrol boats, between Japan and the Philippines proceeds smoothly.

TC90
Japanese government decided lease of training planes TC90s to the Philippine Navy, Both Japanese and Philippine governments are going to agree on the lease contract in this spring. TC90s are not equipped with radars and other devices, and will only be used for visual monitoring over the Spratly Islands. Because of its small radius of actions (300km), planes of the Philippine cannot cover the Spratly Islands. TC90 (radius of actions: 600km) can cover them. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/20160228-OYT1T50110.html?from=ycont_top_txt

Japanese government is proceeding to grant patrol ships to Vietnam or the Philippines with using ODA. But ODA is limited to non-military area and current Japanese law bans give away of government-owned asset, the Japanese government decided the lease of TC90s which belong to JMSDF. Value of the lease is millions yen per year.
http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/107166

Multipurpose boats
At the highest level talk between Japan and the Philippines in Nov/19/2015, Prime Minister Abe communicated Philippine counterpart that Abe will consider granting of two large (92m-class) multipurpose boats through “Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard (Phase 2)”.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/gaiko/oda/files/000132469.pdf page 4 “Maps for Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project for the Philippine Coast Guard (Phase 2)”
Upper map: 12 PCG (Philippine Coast Guard) areas. Ship marks are for Phase 1 (40m-class multipurpose boats by Japan-ODA from 2015)
Lower map: Radius of action (926km) for two 92m-class multipurpose boats in Phase 2.

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at 4/3/16 4:49 PM]

Thanks for those details.

The China vs Philippines/Japan issue is becoming very prominent in the news eg.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/02/25/Japan-to-provide-Philippines-with-defense-equipment/1961456451543/?st_rec=2551457022969

http://learningenglish.voanews.com/content/china-blocking-south-china-sea/3216533.html and

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2016/03/03/Philippines-borrowing-planes-from-Japan-to-patrol-South-China-Sea/2551457022969/

Regards

Pete

Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

On February 29/2016, Defense Secretary of the Philippines and Japanese Ambassador inked “the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology” [1, 2].

Specifically, in addition to stipulating the procedures that determine the relevant transfers, this Agreement establishes a Joint Committee as the organ for approving the defense equipment and technology to be transferred for the projects in this Agreement. It also stipulates the regulations for the use of the transferred defense equipment and technology [2].

The Philippines and Japan are optimistic that tangible cooperation would be drawn up in accordance with the said agreement [3].

Comment of MOD (Japan) is yet reported.

[1]http://www.gov.ph/2016/03/03/ph-jp-sign-defense-agreement/
[2]http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/pressandspeech/press/pressreleases/2016/08.html
[3]https://www.facebook.com/DNDPHL/posts/1043054845751531

Regards
S

Peter Coates said...

Hi S [at 5/3/16 11:21 AM]

Japan is clearly doing well in organising positive, peaceful action against China's attempted militarisation of the South China Sea.

After the Philippines and Vietnam there are many more Southeast Asian countries and South Pacific Island states that can benefit from Japan's assistance.

Regards

Pete