Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: No US announcement on transfer of Patriot missiles to PH


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FACT CHECK: No US announcement on transfer of Patriot missiles to PH
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency has not issued any announcement that Patriot missiles will be transferred to the Philippine government

Claim: The United States government will give the Philippines 20 Patriot missile systems to be deployed in three locations.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video bearing the claim has over 15,648 views as of writing. 

What the video says: Aside from the video’s title, which directly states the claim, the video’s narrator also says at the 0:16 mark, “The Philippines has announced plans to upgrade its air defense force by replacing old Patriot missile systems with new technology and adding 20 new Patriot missiles.”

The video also claims that this was announced by Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr.

The bottom line: The US has deployed Patriot missile systems in the Philippines for the annual Balikatan military exercises since 2022, but those are not given to the Philippine government.

In 2022, the US Army in the Pacific carried out an amphibious insertion of the Patriot missile system in the Philippines – the first time that the US deployed the system overseas by land and sea — in Aparri, Cagayan. 

As part of Balikatan 2023, the US military launched a Patriot surface-to-air missile system during a littoral live-fire event. In an ANC report, US Army Major General Brian Gibson said that it was “the first time” that a Patriot missile system was fired in the Philippines.

For Balikatan 2024, participants of the week-long Joint Integrated Air And Missile Defense Exchange visited a surface-to-air Patriot missile site deployed to Clark Air Base by the 1-1 Air Defense Artillery

Weapons sale process: According to the US Department of State, major defense transfers and sales are “subject to Congressional notification and review.” The US state department’s fact sheet detailed the process for selling defense equipment to other countries:

  1. A country submits a formal Letter of Request to the US.
  2. The request is assessed on a case-by-case basis and approved if it is “found to further US foreign policy and national security interests.” The US Congress may also be notified for major defense transfers.
  3. If approved, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) issues a Letter of Offer and Acceptance specifying the defense articles, training, and support being offered for delivery.
  4. Major foreign military sales formally notified to Congress are publicly announced on the DSCA website.

The DSCA has not issued any official document on the transfer of 20 Patriot missile systems to the Philippine government.


No news reports: There are also no posts from the Department of National Defense (DND), the Philippine Army, the US embassy in the Philippines, and Teodoro‘s Facebook page announcing that Patriot missile systems will be given to the Philippines. 

Philippines’ missile system: To protect the country’s critical defense assets, the Philippine government uses a ground-based air defense system (GBADS), specifically called the SPYDER Philippines Air Defense System (SPADS), not the Patriot missile system. According to the Philippine Air Force (PAF), SPADS is the first modern surface-to-air missile defense system of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The PAF formally accepted the GBADS at the Basa Air Base, Floridablanca, Pampanga, on November 9, 2023. The DND signed the GBADS contract with the Israel Ministry of Defense and Rafael Advanced Defense System in September 2019. (READ: FACT CHECK: Air defense system from Israel already delivered to the Philippines)

According to a Philippine News Agency article, the first two GBAD batteries were delivered in September 2022, while the third battery is expected to be delivered on May 24, 2024. – Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com

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