Thursday, June 2, 2016

Importance of Support Services

Weapons are indeed that lethal when seen on combat. However, such dilemma will definitely hampered by problems in maintenance, storage, and other support services.

Philippine Air Force FA-50 Lead-in Fighter Trainer.
Credits to the photo owner.

The importance of military infrastructure particularly to its support services are indeed vital that is deemed to ensure victory in the battlefield. Furthermore, such services is so very important that it pretty determines a nation's victory in a war a a whole.

It's easy for any military to buy a weapons system from the defense industry. But if others is able to own the same piece of hardware, how do you gain an edge over others? 

Operational requirements differ between end users. One of the main differences that seperate the professional user and the average one is the ability to modify and adapt any weapon bought on the open market to suit local operational requirments. This is the first step to achiving the capability of indigenious production of particular equipment. 

The ability to improve on a standard piece of kit by making local modifications to it to extend it's combat capability. An example for the Philippines would be the FA-50PH. Does the PAF have an in house capability to modify the FA-50PH to extend it's capability? For example, modify it's radar source code to adapt it to match local conditions so as to make it more effective? Or introducing your own indigenious EW updates to it's self protection suite? If these capabilities are non existant, then depending on external support means a potential security compromise. 

It also means you won't be able to adapt fast enough to changing threats and mission requirments. Should the AFP concentrate on developing local a EW directorate to drive development of indigenious Electronic Warfare equipment and tactics? Is the current AFP in general ignoring the vital fourth domain of soft kill EW? 

EW is a highly sensitive, even taboo, subject. Other countries guard their EW secrets tighty and rarely share them with others. Even off the shelf jamming pods are often suppiled as black boxes with only the most basic of operation modes. To bring out the best, the user have to upload their own operational doctrines into the system. If the Philippines don't have the capability to do so, it would be at the mercy of those who have already mastered the so called 'Black Magic of Modern Warfare'.

Overall, such weapons will still render useless even if it is so sophisticated in nature citing that it shows vulnerabilities in a way that once exploited, this weapons will never function and thus, infiltrating an airspace will be a piece of cake. In a context of covert operations, such vulnerabilities, as suggested, must be mitigated at earlier time possible from the point of discovery so as there will be no regrets in the future. For such vulnerabilities, if left unchecked, will have devastating consequences.

With Notes from Tan Tian Cai


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