philippines: India offers operational, cyber security training to Philippines military

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The Indian military is set to provide operational and cyber security training to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as the two nations further deepen their defense engagement.

Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran extended this offer during his courtesy call with Department of National Defense (DND) Principal Undersecretary Jose Faustin Jr.

“Regarding military training cooperation, the ambassador reiterated the IAF’s offer of courses for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, especially on operational readiness and cyber security,” DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong said in a statement over the weekend.

Faustino is understood to have said that India is among the Philippines’ important partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

“He emphasized the importance of maintaining defense engagement between both countries, especially high-level dialogue, exchange of education and training, information exchange, and defense and logistics cooperation, among others,” Andolong said.

Faustino also mentioned DND’s interest in welcoming the resident Indian defense attache to Manila.

“The Ambassador responded with appreciation for the Philippines’ acquisition of Indian-made defense equipment. He also encouraged the strengthening of dialogue on the defense industry, including discussions on space platforms, air defense systems and artillery upgrades. He further recognized the importance of developing self-confidence in defense posture in the face of with security challenges lately,” Andolong said.

Both also exchanged opinions and insights on various geopolitical challenges.

At the meeting, Faustino also emphasized the key role of strengthening partnerships among like-minded countries, especially India and Asean member states, to maintain stability in the region.

“Notably, both the Philippines and India are cooperating closely under the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus,” Andolong said.

Both sides decided to explore opportunities to further strengthen defense and military relations, including potential cooperation in addressing traditional and non-traditional security issues affecting both the Philippines and India.

In August, India and the Philippines decided to expand their ties in sectors such as civil aviation, fintech, education, defense and security. The decision was taken at the 13th India-Philippines Ministry of External Affairs Consultations and the 4th Strategic Dialogue held in Manila.

Bilateral defense and security ties between India and the Philippines have been on the rise for the past few years. In January, the Philippines signed a $375 million contract with India to procure three BrahMos cruise missile batteries. In March, India signed a framework agreement with the Philippines that provided for intergovernmental contracts for the procurement of defense hardware and equipment.

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