Philippines Says US Will Pull Out Controversial Mid-Range Missile System

The US deployed the Typhon missile system for annual military drills

On Thursday, the Philippines said the US was pulling out a new missile system it deployed to the Southeast Asian country for annual military exercises.

The US sent the Typhon missile system for the Balikatan exercises, which were held in April and May. The Typhon is a controversial launcher since it would have been banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a treaty between the US and Russia that the Trump administration withdrew from in 2019.

The INF prohibited land-based missile systems with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles. The Typhon can launch nuclear-capable Tomahawk missiles, which have a range of about 1,000 miles. It can also fire SM-6 missiles, which can hit targets up to 290 miles away.

Philippine Col. Louie Dema-ala told AFP that the US planned to withdraw the Typhon from the Philippines following the military exercises. “As per plan… it will be shipped out of the country in September or even earlier,” he said. “The US Army is currently shipping out their equipment that we used during Balikatan and Salaknib (exercises).”

China strongly condemned the deployment of the Typhon system, which US officials have acknowledged was developed to prepare for a future conflict with Beijing over Taiwan or the South China Sea.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also recently mentioned the deployment. He made the comments when calling for Moscow to follow the US and develop missile systems previously banned by the INF.

“We need to start production of these strike systems and then, based on the actual situation, make decisions about where — if necessary to ensure our safety — to place them,” Putin said last week.

“Today it is known that the United States not only produces these missile systems, but has already brought them to Europe for exercises, to Denmark. Quite recently it was announced that they are in the Philippines,” the Russian leader added.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.