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Lorenzana: New arms sources not that simple

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines may face operability issues if it pursues President Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to procure arms from Russia and China instead of the United States, according to Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

“I think it will be a problem, if we decide to procure military equipment from Russia or China,” Lorenzana said. 

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
“If just firearms, it’s easy to operate. But if sophisticated equipment, there we will have a problem because sometimes the technology [is] not the same. But we will find out if our end users can use it here,” he said, explaining that the US equipment currently operated by the Philippines may not be compatible with different foreign technology.

“The end user on the ground, the cutting edge of the military... should decide what would be bought,” Lorenzana added. 

For one, the ammunition that China and Russia can provide are not compatible with the firearms of the AFP, he said.

Lorenzana said he has been instructed by Duterte to see “what’s best” in terms of buying arms from China and Russia.

“The President is also [keen] on getting some equipment from China and/or Russia. He gave me instructions to visit these countries in the near future to check out what they are offering to us,” he said.

Despite interoperability issues with China and Russia, the defense chief said that the country can also buy missiles from other countries like Germany, Israel, South Korea and France. 

“Many ambassadors have come to me offering a lot of equipment. I see this as a healthy development with our relationship with other countries. They are offering to sell to us,” Lorenzana added.

Topics: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana , Armed Forces of the Philippines , arms procurement , Russia , China
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