The PhilStar reports that Manilla is considering the possibility of procuring arms from Islamabad in a bid to modernize its armed forces and diversify its supplier pool.
The Philippines’ Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez raised the issue after his meeting with the Pakistani defence minister, Khawaja Asif.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial campaign on drugs has been eliciting criticism and, from some, outright condemnation. In turn, Manilla’s ability to procure arms relevant to this campaign, such as small arms, has seen roadblocks.
For example, the PhilStar notes that there were “reports that the US Senate canceled a gun deal with the Philippines because of the drug war’s alleged human rights violations, but these were not verified.”
Notes & Comments:
In April, Quwa noted that in terms of the Pacific East Asia market, Pakistan’s best and likeliest point-of-entry would in the realm of small arms. The small arms market is vast and highly segmented in terms of end-user requirements. In the Philippines, for example, the small-arms market would comprise of armed forces requirements (e.g. the Army) and law-enforcement agencies, among others.
Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) is well-positioned to offer affordable value-driven solutions to Manilla, which appears to be seeking an affordable and accessible supply of arms relevant to its anti-drug efforts.
Currently, POF’s catalogue is comprised of local-built derivatives of the Heckler & Koch (HK) G-3 battle rifle (7.62 NATO), HK MP5 (9mm) sub-machine gun, Rheinmetall MG3 (MG1A3 at 7.62 NATO) machine gun, and PSR 90 sniper rifle (i.e. HK PSG1 at 7.62 NATO).
POF could also market its new products to the Philippines as well. The POF LSR is a bolt-action sniper rifle capable of firing at up to 800 metres. The LSR was designed, developed and manufactured in-house at POF, which – in tandem with full-scale production for the Pakistan Army – is committing to extended the LSR’s range and barrel life. POF said that the current unit cost of the LSR is $6,500, which is almost half of the cost of a proposed import, which would have cost $12,500 (Dawn News).
It is unlikely that Pakistan will offer or succeed with an offer of its aviation products, most notably the JF-17. The Philippines benefits from a directly comparable platform in the form of the Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50, of which Manilla intends to procure another 36. Currently, South Korea appears to be Manilla’s preferred supplier of big-ticket items.
That said, the Super Mushshak, which Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) has successfully positioned as a preliminary flight training and pilot-screening system to small and large air forces alike, including those without many limitations to cost, such as Qatar, could find traction.
Interview of Pakistan Ordnance Factories by Army Recognition: https://youtu.be/ykhR0qt7TXw?t=11m2s