We are now targets for not only Chinese but also Russian nuke-tipped missiles

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UNDER-REPORTED in the Philippine mainstream media, the US in April deployed to an unidentified military camp in Northern Luzon its state-of-the-art ground-based missile system consisting of a containerized system of four strike-length launcher cells and radar facilities linked to US satellites.

The US mobile, containerized Typhon weapons system, whose missiles can reach the Spratlys from Luzon. US ARMY PHOTO

Called the Typhon Payload Delivery System, all it needs to create a nuclear Armageddon in the South China Sea are the nuclear-tipped missiles themselves — mid-range Tomahawk and SM-6 — to be inserted into the launchers and fired at its targets.

The aviationist.com website described the system: “The MRC (mid-range capabilities)/Typhon missile system comprises the SM-6 air defense missile tweaked for anti-shipping roles and Tomahawk subsonic cruise missiles for land targets, respectively. The system bridges the range gap between the 482-kilometer range Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) and the 2776-kilometer range of the US Army’s hypersonic Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW). In other words, it requires missiles to reach targets up to 1,800 km away.”

The Typhon-launched missiles from northern Luzon, therefore, can reach all of China’s seven artificial island fortresses in the South China Sea, southeastern China, including Hainan Island, where the Chinese in 2020 established Sansha City, which administers all of China’s four claimed archipelagos in that sea.

This is the first time such a missile system has been deployed by the US that can easily reach what China calls its Nansha Qundao territory (which we call our Kalayaan Island group). Of course, China’s foreign ministry spokesman vehemently “strongly opposed” the US deployment at “China’s doorstep to seek unilateral military advantage.”

“The US move exacerbates tensions in the region and increases the risk of misjudgment and miscalculation,” the spokesman said.

US Army

The website Warzone, an unofficial US Army website, was jubilant when the missile system was deployed to the country:

“The US Army has sent elements of its newest ground-based missile system, called Typhon, overseas for the first time to take part in an exercise in the Philippines. Typhon can fire Tomahawk cruise missiles and SM-6 multi-purpose missiles, the latter of which will, at least at first for the Army’s needs, work in a quasi-ballistic missile land attack mode. Typhon’s arrival sends a blaring signal at Beijing and throughout the region. It is a glimpse of what’s to come as the service works through plans to permanently base these systems in China’s backyard.”

What the US deployed in a Northern Luzon base. US ARMY PHOTO

An article in the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory by two of its professors involved in its development was titled “Typhon — A Weapon System Ahead of its Time.”

It described what the system consisted of: 1) a single radar system for search, acquisition, tracking, and missile guidance with multiple beams and instantaneous beam switching, able to operate effectively in the presence of heavy countermeasures; 2) a single weapon direction system to handle two complementary missile types, capable of handling multiple intercepts and integrated with the Naval Tactical Data System/Combat Information Center; 3) a long-range and medium-range missile; and 4) launching systems for the missiles. The heart of the system was the multifunction Typhon radar, which represented a quantum jump in beam forming and switching and signal processing techniques.”

Toned down

Surprisingly, though, our local and international press largely toned down the Typhon deployment. This is probably because China itself let the issue die down and didn’t demand that the Typhon system be removed from Philippine soil.

Masters of propaganda, the US also explained that the Typhon system was deployed only as part of the two joint military exercises with the Philippine military in April. The US again thinks we’re a stupid people: How would a system designed to launch mid-range missiles that carry nuclear bombs be part of joint exercises by the US and the Philippine military? Were our troops trained to use Typhon to launch missiles against Chinese targets? I hope Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. wasn’t taught how to fire it.

An unidentified US defense department official in May told reporters: “There’s currently no plans to station any US forces in the Philippines … to include the Typhon.”

However, so far there has been no announcement by the US that it has removed the Typhon from its Northern Luzon base. The Typhon being loaded by the huge C17 Globemaster for airlifting out of the Philippines would have been so conspicuous on the tarmac of any international airport that it would have been photographed by local media and splashed on all front pages. I haven’t seen such photographs.

Putin

What bolsters the suspicion that the Typhon missile system has not been withdrawn by the US and is kept hidden in the camps they control under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) is the following astounding development:

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Friday that the US had deployed intermediate and shorter-range nuclear-capable missiles to Denmark and the Philippines. Putin said Russia had pledged not to deploy such missiles but that the United States had resumed their production, brought them to Denmark for exercises and also taken them to the Philippines.

Putin, whose career had been mostly in military intelligence as a KGB colonel, would not have referred to the Philippines as a site where the US has deployed nuclear-capable missiles without getting reliable intelligence reports. He would probably have required his intelligence people to double-check their report, as his memory of the Philippines was that it was a friendly country whose head of state Rodrigo Duterte twice visited Russia, with whom he had cordial conversations.

Or perhaps Chinese President Xi Jinping himself during Putin’s visit to China in May informed him that the US has taken very serious steps that could lead to war by deploying missiles in Denmark and the Philippines. Indeed, one scenario could involve the US and NATO forces driving the Russian army out of Ukraine while China is bogged down dealing with a US threat using its missiles in the Philippines.

First

This is the first time Putin referred to the Philippines’ involvement in what could break out into World War III by the two blocs of nuclear superpowers.

Putin obviously suspects that after these exercises, the missile systems will simply be stored in any of the nine sites under the EDCA. He would think that President Marcos and his military brass have been so servile to the US and would most likely claim that the missile systems had already been removed from the country right after the exercises.

I expect, however, US propagandists to argue that the deployment of the Typhon missile systems — without the missile themselves — would not violate the EDCA’s essential provision that the “Philippines authorizes the US to pre-position and store defense equipment, supplies and materiel.” The Typhon’s bulky parts include its transport vehicle for its required mobility and its radar system. If these are in place, the US can easily and very quickly transport, in less than an hour, its Tomahawk and SM-6 missiles from its bases in the Pacific and even from a nearby aircraft carrier.

Inspect

I had planned to focus this column on a call for Congress, or just even the Senate, to demand the US and Philippine military commands to allow a committee of legislators to inspect the EDCA sites or the secret location in northern Luzon where the Typhon was deployed to determine if the Typhon has been withdrawn from Philippine soil.

That would be useless. If Congress claims the Typhon has been removed, this institution has been so much under the thumb of President Marcos that Putin and Xi won’t believe such a report. I don’t even think it would even demand to make such an inspection.

Our Congress has been so scandalously unconcerned that the US has deployed one of its most advanced missile systems in what they term “China’s backyard” — northern Luzon.

And needless to say, China and Russia would have to reciprocate the US’ threatening moves and have ordered their own missile systems to target, at the very least, the EDCA sites and other military sites, and of course, Malacañan Palace.

What a stupid, stupid president who follows US demands that would make our country into a mostly likely nuclear-weapons battlefield for the world’s superpowers.

I certainly, honestly, hope I’m wrong.


Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao

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My website: www.rigobertotiglao.com

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