Why is the US Typhon missile system being withdrawn from the Philippines?

Published July 5, 2023
  • Amid tension around South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, analysts say Beijing has been made aware the system can be redeployed at any time
Manila’s announcement that a US mid-range missile system will be withdrawn from the Philippines within months is a “gesture” to ease tensions with Beijing in the disputed South China Sea, but the system could still be redeployed to the region, analysts said.
Colonel Louie Dema-ala, a Philippine Army spokesman, said on Tuesday the Typhon weapons system deployed in his country would return to the United States in September “as per plan” once other defence equipment used during joint exercises with the US military had been shipped back.

“The US Army is currently shipping out their equipment that we used during Balikatan and Salaknib [exercises],” Dema-ala said.

In April, US Army Pacific announced that the service had “successfully” deployed its Mid-Range Capability missile system on the northern Philippine island of Luzon as part of Balikatan and Salaknib annual exercises between the Philippines and the US military.

Philippine troops have reportedly been taught how to use and maintain the Typhon system, but it was not used in live-fire exercises, according to Dema-ala.

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SOURCE: www.scmp.com

RELATED: US To Withdraw “Banned” Typhon Missile System From Philippines That Gave Sleepless Nights To China

Published July 4, 2024

The decision comes amidst growing concerns and objections from China over the presence of an American medium-range missile system in the region. 

Colonel Louie Dema-ala, spokesman for the Philippine Army, announced on July 4 that the US Mid-Range Capability missile system, deployed in the northern Philippines earlier this year, will be shipped out by September, possibly even earlier. 

The system, capable of launching Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles, was utilized during annual exercises. 

Colonel Louie Dema-ala added that while Philippine troops were trained on how to handle and maintain the Typhon missile system, it was not employed in live-fire training. 

“The US Army is currently in the process of shipping out their equipment used during the Balikatan and Salaknib exercises,” stated Col. Dema-ala, affirming the planned withdrawal. 

The deployment of ground-based launchers for medium-range missiles in the Indo-Pacific region marked a significant military maneuver by the US, breaking a nearly four-decade hiatus since the signing of the US-Soviet Union Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987. 

This treaty had previously prohibited the development and possession of land-based missiles with ranges between 500km to 5,500km. However, in 2019, the US withdrew from the Treaty, alleging claimed violations by Moscow and in response to China’s growing military capabilities, particularly in missile technology. 

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SOURCE: www.eurasiantimes.com

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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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