VERA FILES FACT CHECK: PH does NOT have Oerlikon 35mm anti-aircraft guns

Two videos claimed that the Philippines acquired 35 millimeter (mm) Oerlikon GDF anti-aircraft guns, and that these were fired during a military exercise. This is not true.

The Philippines is not among countries that use 35mm Oerlikon GDF anti-aircraft guns. According to the United States (U.S.) military’s OE Data Integration Network (ODIN), the upgraded Oerlikon GDF with Skyguard Radar Fire-Control System is used by Canada, Pakistan, Greece, Oman, Spain, and Taiwan.

The Philippines has not procured or ordered Oerlikon 35mm anti-aircraft guns, a spokesperson for Rheinmetall, which manufactures the weapons, told VERA Files Fact Check.

Nor was the aforementioned weapon fired during the 2023 Balikatan exercises, according to the official Balikatan 2023 Facebook page and media in the U.S. Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.

Col. Michael Logico, director and spokesperson of the Philippine military’s training center, told VERA Files that it was the 76mm OTO Melara that was used in the Balikatan drills.

YouTube channel Terong Explained uploaded the erroneous video on May 9. This video was reposted two days later by Facebook (FB) page PH Speaker. In both videos, a narrator claimed:

Ang Oerlikon 35mm anti-aircraft gun ay isa lang sa maraming bagong sistema ng armas na nakuha ng militar ng pilipinas nitong mga nakaraang taon.

(The Oerlikon 35mm anti-aircraft gun is one of several weapons systems that the Philippine military acquired these past few years.)

The videos also claimed:

Kasama sa [military] exercise ang pagpapaputok ng Oerlikon 35mm anti-aircraft gun na may kakayahang magpaputok ng hanggang 1,000 rounds kada minuto.”

(Included in the [military] exercise is the firing of the Oerlikon 35mm anti-aircraft gun, which can fire up to 1,000 rounds a minute.)

As per ODIN, the rate of fire of the 35mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun is 550 rounds/min per barrel not 1,000 rounds as claimed in the video.

SAY WHAT: The Philippines is not among the countries that use the 35 millimeter Oerlikon GDF anti-aircraft guns, according to the United States military’s OE Data Integration Network (ODIN).

Cursory searches on the official FB pages of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine AIr Force, Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Army do not yield results for a 35mm Oerlikon GDF anti-aircraft gun.

Ships such as the BRP Dagupan and the Shaldag-class are equipped with Oerlikon 20mm cannons, according to the AFP’s 1st Civil Relations Group. However, these weapons are not the same as the 35mm guns used for air defense.

Oerlikon 20mm cannons are designed for naval combat against smugglers and intruders, while the 35mm GDF anti-aircraft guns are towed, twin cannons used to shoot down airplanes.

The incorrect videos, which accumulated a total of over 159,611 interactions, first appeared a day after the Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez said that joint patrols between the Philippines and the U.S. may happen later this year.

Terong Explained was created on Oct. 6, 2015, PH Speaker on Sept. 19, 2022.


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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)