Saturday, May 19, 2012

DND to buy 2 squadrons of military planes

One big dream of Filipinos will be fulfilled.

The Department of National Defense (DND) will buy two squadrons of military planes and it is already negotiating with governments manufacturing military aircraft, the department’s spokesman said on Friday.

“We cannot divulge yet who are the manufacturers. We are focusing on buying at least two squadrons of military planes,” DND spokesman Dr. Peter Paul Galvez told reporters at the weekly forum Balitaan sa Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City.

One squadron consists of 15 to 18 planes. The size depends on the interpretation of the defense department.

Galvez said that the DND also plans to buy training jets for student pilots of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and that DND wants to have “government-to-government” negotiations.

“We are not entertaining middlemen because we want to maximize the meager budget allotted to us,” Galvez added. “This is now the fulfillment of dreams of Filipinos.”

The government has tasked the DND to shop for military jets after it decided not to buy secondhand planes from the United States because it would be more expensive.

“You must always consider the maintenance expenses. If you buy brand new military jets, the maintenance cost is much, much less and should always count on the life cycle. Now if you can buy cheaper planes of the same quality and firepower, that’s another plus factor,” Galvez explained.

When asked if the government is also considering buying multi-role aircraft, Galvez said that the DND is dreaming of purchasing modern military jets if their budget allows.

“We need to wait at least one and half to two years when we ordered the aircraft because manufacturers are not assembling aircraft without orders,” he said, adding that the PAF already has four brand new Sokol helicopters equipped with the latest gadgets and is now being used in anti-insurgency operations.

He also disclosed that an additional cutter vessel from US is expected to arrive in November. The second cutter is more sophisticated than the first one, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the country’s biggest war ship so far.
| May 19, 2012 | Article Link

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