Rody Wants Russian Precision Bombs

Soldiers prepare a Russian-made KAB-500S precision-guided munition in an image posted on Russia Today. The satellite-guided KAB-500S bombs have been used in Russian strikes against the IS in Syria.


Davao City, Philippines, 25 Sha’ban 1438/22 May 2017 (MINA) – If there is one thing that President Duterte wants when he leaves Monday for an official visit to Russia, it is to obtain precision-guided munitions for use against Islamic State-inspired terrorist groups.

The President lamented that bombs of the Armed Forces are not as accurate as the ones guided by laser or satellites like those of Russia.

“It is difficult for us. So we have this ISIS thing. I’ve been scouting around for (a weapon to finish them off)… I’m going to Russia. Same purpose. If they can spare us the precision-guided (bombs)… we have so many smart bombs but not as accurate as the ones guided by laser or satellite,” Philstar quoted Duterte as telling participants in the Philippine Coast Guard Auxillary national convention held here over the weekend.

Duterte will leave for Russia for a four-day landmark visit in line with his commitment to pursue an independent foreign policy.

Agreements on security, legal assistance and trade are expected to be signed during the May 23 to 26 visit, which officials said, would mark a new chapter in ties between Manila and Moscow.

The strengthening of defense cooperation between the Philippines and Russia is among the primary agenda of Duterte’s visit to Moscow.

Duterte will also meet with Russia Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin on May 24 and 25 to discuss key issues and ways to strengthen political, military and economic cooperation.


Dumb getting smarter

Duterte lamented the bombs being used by the military against extremist groups in Mindanao are not as accurate, causing collateral damage in the deaths of civilians and non-combatants.

The President was referring to the iron or “dumb” bombs dropped from an aircraft and guided merely by gravity as against the “smart” bombs guided by laser or satellite to its target.

“We have the dumb bombs which will just… leave unintended consequences such as killing of civilians, which we are really trying to not to use because it could cause so many collateral damage,” he said.

Duterte took notice of the surgical strikes by Russia against the IS militants in Syria.

The Russians use bombs that are guided by a weapon system operator, or the pilot, to hone in on a target with less probable damage to civilians and non-combatants in the area.

The weapon used by the Russians against the IS in Syria is the KAB guided bomb, which comes with the variants KAB-250 and KAB-500.

The Russians use the KAB-500 that drops from a Sukhoi fighter/bomber from an altitude of 5,000 meters. Even from that altitude, the bomb is guided to its target through its Global Satellite Navigation System (GLONASS).

The state-sponsored Russia Today (RT) described the bomb as weighing 500 kilograms and measures three meters in length. Its payload has 380 kilograms of high explosive.

The Russian guided bombs, however, must be fitted to an aircraft designed to accommodate the bomb on its bay to allow the weapon to drop precisely on target.

Experts said using precision-guided munitions is more expensive than the traditional gravity bombs.

Some analysts said Russia has been trying to show to the world that it is more practical and economical to use laser-guided bombs, such as in its campaign against IS in Syria.

Military experts however believe Russia’s intervention in Syria is getting expensive to maintain.

Duterte has repeatedly talked about the offer of Russia to supply the Philippines with high-powered weapons at a cheaper price and even on a “buy one, take one” basis.

He stressed the Philippines would explore possible cooperation in defense with Russia although it would not necessarily mean the forging of a defense treaty with Moscow. (T/RS5/RS10

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)