International exercises begin in the Philippines today

International exercises begin in the Philippines today

The major exercise “Balikatan 2024” kicked off today in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea. Balikatan is an exercise organized for the 39th time and mainly concerns cooperation between the United States and the Philippines. This year, for the first time, a French ship will also attend.


The Philippine frigate BRP Antonio Luna is one of the two ships of the Jose Rizal class. These (light) frigates, with a length of 107.5 meters and a displacement of 2,600 tons, were put into service in 2020 and 2021. The ships were built by Hyundai Heavy Industries of South Korea. (Photo: Philippine Navy)

The Flower-class frigate FS Vendmiaire is the first French engagement in the history of Balikatan. During the exercises, Vendmiaire will mainly focus on maritime security, humanitarian aid and emergency aid after a natural disaster. The ship's helicopter will also be deployed. The French frigate will leave the exercises on May 4 before entering its busiest phase.

11 other Filipino and American ships are participating in these maneuvers. On behalf of the Philippines, these include the frigate BRP Antonio Luna (Jose Rizal class), the amphibious transport ship BRP Davao del Sur (Tarlac class), and the patrol ship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (Del Pilar class). At least six ships from the Philippine Coast Guard and two ships from the US Coast Guard will also be deployed.

16,000
The exercise lasts three weeks: from April 22 to May 10. The Balikatan exercises involve 16,000 soldiers from the Philippines, the United States and France, making it one of the largest editions to date. Australia is also sending soldiers.

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In addition to the United States, the Philippines and France, countries also sent observers. This includes Brunei, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.

Missile testing for the Philippine Navy
The exercise takes place on land, in the air, above water and under water. Ships are mainly practiced in the vicinity of Taiwan and the Philippines.

A Philippine military spokesman said the multilateral naval exercises will take place within the Philippines' exclusive economic zone Manila Times. In the years of the previous government, which sought rapprochement with China, the ships were forced to remain within the territorial waters of the Philippines, much to the disappointment of the training command. This year, ships may also operate in international waters. Little is known about the exact training sites.

Obviously there will be an exercise in reclaiming an island and establishing an island Anti-access/area denialNet and sink a ship. This time the decommissioned tanker is on Lake Caliraya. This is called SINKEX failure in the latest version.

The Philippine Navy will reportedly participate in the exercises for the first time It will use Korean Sea Star anti-ship missiles. It was purchased from South Korea a long time ago, but has not been launched yet.

China
There is no doubt that the United States and the Philippines conducting public exercises in the South China Sea constitutes an embarrassment to China. On the eve of the exercises, two Chinese naval ships were spotted observer Just 30 nautical miles from Palawan, the main island of the Philippines and one of the training bases.

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As far as is known, there was no confrontation. Just before the ships reached Philippine waters, they turned around.

Dutch frigate Zr.Ms. After leaving the Red Sea, Tromp also sails to this region.

Tobias Author: Tobias Cappelli
Tobias has been working as a freelance journalist at Marineschips.nl since August 2020. He is also mainly active in sports journalism at AD Sportwereld, Eurosport and Hockey.nl, among others. Tobias studied History, Public Administration and Organizational Sciences at Utrecht University and obtained a Master's degree in Media and Journalism from Erasmus University Rotterdam.


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