IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


6th July, 2024 Security


Source: ET

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  • The Philippine Army has confirmed that the “deadly” Typhon Weapons System, deployed by the United States for joint military exercises, will soon be withdrawn from the country.

About Typhon Weapons System:

The Typhon system represents a crucial advancement in the US Army’s arsenal. It is designed specifically for launching Raytheon’s SM-6 missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles. It is positioned as a land-based system, Typhon fills the operational gap between the Precision Strike Missile (PrSM), with its range of 500 kilometers, and the future Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW), which is projected to reach up to 2,776 kilometers.

Strategic Significance of Typhon System

  • The SM-6 missiles integrated into Typhon serve primarily as short-range ballistic missiles capable of targeting land-based and maritime assets. They are earmarked as strategic weapons intended for high-value targets such as command centers and air defense installations.
  • Meanwhile, with their subsonic capabilities, the Tomahawk cruise missiles can strike targets up to 2,500 kilometers away, whether launched from warships or submarines in land-attack operations.
  • The full Medium-Range Capability (MRC) system comprises a battery operations center, four launchers, prime movers, and specially modified trailers, facilitating its mobility and operational flexibility.

Geopolitical Implications

  • The deployment of the Typhon system marked a significant shift in US military strategy in the Indo-Pacific, breaking a nearly four-decade hiatus since the signing of the US-Soviet Union Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987.
  • The US withdrawal from the INF Treaty in 2019, citing violations by Russia and China's growing missile capabilities, paved the way for such deployments.
  • The presence of these systems in the Philippines has drawn sharp criticism from Beijing, which views them as destabilizing regional security.

Capabilities and Implications

  • Enhanced Deterrence: With a range exceeding 1500 kilometers for Tomahawk missiles, the Typhoon strengthens the Philippines' deterrence capabilities against potential maritime threats in the South China Sea.
  • Precision Strike Potential: The inclusion of SM-6 missiles with a shorter range (around 240 kilometers) adds a layer of air defense capability for the Philippines.
  • Shifting Alliances: The deployment of a US-made system suggests a potential diversification of the Philippines' defense partnerships, potentially offering access to advanced weaponry and negotiating leverage.


The Philippines' strategic shift towards the Typhoon system reflects a desire for a more diversified defense portfolio. While the system offers potential benefits, it must be weighed against the financial burden, integration challenges, and potential for escalating regional tensions. The Philippines must chart a course that prioritizes strengthening its territorial defense while maintaining a stable regional environment.




Critically examine the potential benefits and challenges associated with the Typhoon weapon system for the Philippines. Discuss how this acquisition decision reflects broader trends in the region's defense strategies.