Has anyone actually tracked the CUP? The following article presents interesting details, maybe we can use it to map what's already been done, and will be done in the near future. Arroyo Approves Procurement Of US$398 MLN In Military Equipment
MANILA, Sept 29 Asia Pulse - Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has approved the procurement of more than P20 billion (US$398 million) worth of mission essential equipment for the military, which the defense department said will bolster the government's capability to address internal security threats.
The equipment are included in the third to sixth blocks of the 18-block Capability Upgrade Program (CUP), an 18-year modernization program for the military establishment which will cost the government around P210 billion.
Among the items that would be procured under the third to sixth blocks of CUP include refurbished night attack helicopters, communications and intelligence equipment, sniper rifles, squad automatic rifles, transport trucks, tanks and assault craft, among others.
The Chief Executive approved the procurement under Memorandum Order No. 224. The President, who is also the military's commander-in-chief, made the approval on the recommendation of Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz dated August 11.
Last May, the President approved the acquisition of the first and second blocks of the program. The two approved blocks are also aimed at improving the military's firepower to address internal threats, including the insurgents.
"The President has already approved the acquisition of the first six blocks of mission essential equipment for internal security operations at a total cost of P32 billion," Cruz told a recent media forum.
Cruz said the initial procurement of the equipment under the first six blocks, which may take place before the end of the year, "will focus on basic individual and unit equipment needed in our internal security operations to enhance mobility, firepower, communications, force protection and combat life-support."
Cruz said CUP's first 10 blocks actually involves equipment needed in the internal security operations of the military while the last eight blocks will involve procurement of equipment for territorial defense.
A military briefing paper disclosed that the implementation of the first six blocks of CUP would be completed by 2010, starting 2005. The national government has vowed to allocate P5 billion a year to fund the program.
Cruz said the President has so far allocated more than P10 billion to bankroll the program and she said that if she can front-load this, she will give us the entire P32 billion which brings our mission essential equipment for internal security operations.
"The Air Force use to have 18 transport helicopters. With this upgrade, that should shoot to about 120. It has less than 20 attack helicopters (at present). Were programming 12 night attack helicopters in blocks 1 to 6," added Cruz.
When asked if the aircraft that would be procured are brand new ones, the defense chief noted "these will be newly refurbished engines and frames and very reliable and useful." He did not say where the aircraft would be sourced.
Asked if the government intends to acquire fighter jets, Cruz said "if we are able to defeat these internal security threats, that's the time we should start spending money on territorial defense but right now our focus is on basic mission essential equipment for internal security operations."
Cruz named the communist New People's Army, the secessionist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, and the Southeast Asian regional terrorist network Jemaah Islamiyah as the country's top internal security threats.
Last June, the President released P1 billion in additional counter-insurgency fund to improve the military's might in fighting the insurgents. The President wants to cripple the insurgents in the critical areas in the next two years.
"When we have finished this internal security threats and we can start buying that kind of equipment," said Cruz of the fighter jets. Early this year, The Air Force decommissioned all its aging F-5s due the expensive maintenance.http://au.news.yahoo.com/060929/3/10q1y.html