Some thoughts on some of Duterte’s claims about widening Manila’s military procurement strategy:
What would Duterte want? The Philippine’s need for modern military equipment is substantial, although its resources are fairly meager. In recent years Manila has concentrated on helicopters, light aircraft, light patrol boats, and a variety of munitions. Much of this has come from the United States, although Japan has also played a role in supporting Manila’s maritime ambitions. However, either Russia or China could ably fulfill these relatively modest requirements. The Chinese JF-17 fighter would fit Philippine requirements nicely, as would refurbished MiG-29 models (Duterte has already criticized a deal to acquire modernized F-16s). Altogether, while capturing the Philippines military market would be only moderately lucrative, it would fall right into the wheelhouse of either the Russian or Chinese military-industrial complexes.