Transforming the Philippines’ Defense Architecture: How to Create a Credible and Sustainable Maritime Deterrent
May 30, 2012
This paper argues that to adequately defend its maritime claims, the Philippines should consider an external defense architecture designed around mobile coastal defense batteries equipped with long-range anti-ship missiles and protected by an integrated air defense umbrella. Such an architecture would provide the Philippines with an effective means to not only counter surface combatants and improve the survivability of its own forces against naval aviation or ballistic missiles, but also do so with lower procurement, maintenance, and operational readiness costs than a traditional force would require. The Philippine government’s new capabilities-based defense budgeting process offers the country an opportunity to study and adopt this sort of defense architecture, which has become increasingly necessary as rising powers, such as China, have begun to test Philippine maritime sovereignty at places like Scarborough Shoal and the Spratly Islands.