Philippine Navy Is Rusting Away

Manila has to make up for decades of neglect

The Philippine Navy Is Rusting Away


In December 2014, the Philippine Navy announced plans for a major overhaul of its beleaguered force. It’s about time. The archipelago’s sailing force is made up of half-century-old antiques—and is falling apart.

Under the new proposal, Manila expects to spend $2 billion over the next 15 years on new warships, submarines, helicopters and more. The primary focus of these purchases is to help bolster the country’s claims in the South China Sea against Chinese intrusions.

And Beijing’s increasingly aggressive attitude in the region came as a “surprise” to Manila, says Eric Wertheim, a naval expert and the author of the U.S. Naval Institute’s authoritative Combat Fleets of the World.

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