Thursday, May 10, 2012

Philippines junks plan to buy 'ageing' F16s

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines has abandoned plans to purchase “ageing” F16 fighter jets from the United States after deciding repairing and refurbishing the aircraft would cost too much.

“F16 is an ageing air asset that will be given to us. It’s mothballed and if you’re going to refurbish it, we have to evaluate because it will cost too much,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin told a news briefing.

Even after refurbishing, he added, the jets would only have three to four years of flying time left.

“Lugi ka (You lose),” Gazmin said.

The defense chief said the fighter jets were not brought up during the 2+2 meeting with US officials in Washington.

However, the Philippine government has lined up the purchase of several air assets,
including 21 Vietnam War-vintage UH1H helicopters, 10 attack helicopters and two C130 cargo planes.

The Philippines is also expecting four additional SoKol choppers within the year.

| May 9, 2012 | Article Link

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