The Philippine’s Department Of National Defense (DND) has cancelled the army's P6.5-billion (US$142 million) Shore-Based Missile System (SBMS) deal with Israel.
Patrick Velez, Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Installation, and Logistics (ASAIL) clarified in a letter dated 22 July 2015 to Avi Felder, president of the Israel Military Industries (IMI) that the SBMS project is not shelved, its implementation only postponed from the 1st Horizon Project (2013-2017) to the 2nd Horizon Project (2018-2023).
However, it is not yet confirmed if President Benigno Aquino has approved the DND decision.
The Israel Military Industries has been considering the filing of a diplomatic protest over the action of DND, InterAksyon.com reported today.
Aquino and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin previously promised that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would achieve minimum credible external defense capability before their term ends in 2016.
If Implemented the SBMS project would have started this October and completed during the first half of 2016.
The former National Security Adviser (NSA) Roilo Golez said, the SBMS project would have been a good move to jump-start Aquino’s promise of minimum credible external defense capability against the aggression of China in the WPS where it was reclaiming coral reefs into artificial islands as part of its expansionist policy in the region.