The Department of Defense (DND) plans to order at least 100,000 AK47 assault rifles from Russia, a top AFP official said on Friday.
The AK47 assault rifle is considered to be the most effective and most tested assault rifle in recent memory, and is the best-selling assault rifle according to the Guinness Book of world record with more than 100 million units produced since its first production on 1949.
President Rodrigo Duterte said earlier that he will send his generals to Russia and China to buy arms because America does not want to sell.
“If you don’t want to sell arms, I’ll go to Russia.” Duterte said. “I sent the generals to Russia and Russia said ‘do not worry, we have everything you need, we’ll give it to you’…As for China, they said ‘just come over and sign and everything will be delivered’.”
The news about buying AK47 is welcome news to more than 90,000 active AFP personnel who have been using low-quality and defective M16 and M14 rifles.
During the Aquino administration, the Department of Defense bought P1.4 billion worth of defective M4 used rifle from US and there is no update on what happened to those rifles to date.
The source, who refused to identify himself because he was not authorized to speak regarding the matter, said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also plan to buy another 150,000 units of Glock 9 and Jericho pistols from Austria and Israel. The said pistols will be used by both the military and police as standard sidearm.
The AK47, according to Globalfirepower.com is more powerful that its standard counterparts like the American-made M16, M14, and M4 carbine, and is far cheaper.
Speaking to Svobodnaya Pressa, Dmitri Kornev, — editor in chief of the news and analysis portal MilitaryRussia, suggested that that given the Philippines’ status as an island nation, Russia, as a major exporter of naval vessels, may be tapped to supply the country with fast boats, shifts and even diesel-powered subs.
Furthermore, if Manila seeks to assert itself in disputes in the South China Sea, it may turn to Russia for air defense systems, including the Buk and Tor medium and short-range SAM systems.
“As far as more modern systems, including the Vityaz and Morphei, they have yet to be introduced in our own military, so the Philippines is unlikely to get them,” Kornev explained. “More serious systems – like the S-300, won’t be delivered, because their production has been stopped; the S-400 will face the same fate in a year or two, and there is still a queue of orders for them.”
“But the supply of aircraft is possible,” Kornev added. “At one time, Russia sold MiG-29 and Su-30 aircraft to Philippines’ neighbor Malaysia. Over time, we could even supply Iskander-E, which Russia has sold only to Armenia in the past.”
Moscow seems to have been taken aback by Duterte’s unexpected overture. On Monday, commenting on Manila’s initiative to improve relations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said “Russia and the Philippines are in great position to improve economic and business ties, as well as military when needed”.
/Deborah Valte and Sandro Palma contributed to this article/
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