Pinoy troops practice use of Javelin missiles
Filipino troopers, under instruction from US soldiers, practiced for the first time the use of state-of-the-art Javelin antitank missiles that have proven their effectiveness in wars in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and lately Ukraine.
At the continuation of the largest-ever PH-US “Balikatan” exercises, one soldier each from the US Army, Philippine Army and US Marines took turns firing the portable missile system at cars that served as targets at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija.
The exercise was meant for troops to apply lessons gleaned from lectures conducted last month as part of the Salaknib exercise, the largest joint exercise between the Philippine and US armies, where they trained together for the “defense of the archipelago” against “foreign aggressors.”
“We are seeing in the Ukraine and Russia conflict the use of these modern weapons. And if you saw some of the footage of the conflict in Ukraine, I’m sure you saw the effectivity of the Javelin weapon in taking out tanks,” Army chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. told reporters.
He said the Army plans to acquire the high-end weapon system in the future and it will be included in the Horizon 3 of the military’s modernization program.
“We want to also bring that capability to the Philippine Army in order for us to be able to bolster our defensive posture,” he said.
The FGM-148 Javelin missile system, made by US arms manufacturers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, has an effective range of 2.5 kilometers.
Brawner said the training was not directed against any adversary but a preparation for any threats that may arise in the future.
“All the scenarios that we are doing here in the exercise are not specifically targeting at any adversary … but we want to prepare for all kinds of threats that could come to our country, whether it be man-made or natural,” he said.
The start of the three-week Balikatan on Tuesday follows a three-day Chinese military drills around self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.
READ: Zarate: Balikatan exercises would only heighten tension between US, China
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