Skip to main content

PHL wants to acquire F-16 fighter jets from US: sources


THE Philippines has reportedly asked the US for a squadron of used F-16 “Fighting Falcon” fighter jets to boost the country’s external defense.
While the request calls for the F-16s to be given to the country for free, the Philippine government is willing to pay for any upgrades or modifications that may be needed for the aircraft, sources said.
The proposed deal reportedly involves the transfer of used F-16s from the US’s excess equipment now stored at the US Air Forces’ “aircraft boneyard” in Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
The F-16 “Fighting Falcon” is one of the most versatile multi-role fighter planes in the US Air Force. It has been used since 1974.
The recent saber-rattling by China over the Spratly Islands and some other areas on the West Philippine Sea has prompted the country to seek an air superior fighter plane, sources said.
The Philippines has always relied on the US for its external defense because of the RP-US Mutual Defense Treaty, thus the country has seen no need to boost its external defense in the past.
The recent events in the Spratlys, however, prompted the need to have an air superior fighter to discourage the Chinese air force from intruding into Philippine air space.
About five years ago, the Air Force mothballed its eight remaining 1960-vintage F-5 “Freedom Fighters” that were acquired from South Korean and Taiwan because they are no match for the more modern fighters now used by practically all civilized countries and are expensive to maintain.
Thus, the Air Force had to rely on trainer planes to support the government’s campaign against Moro separatists and communist rebels.
Before the Arroyo administration stepped down, it purchased 18 Italian-made SF-260 trainers that are also being used as light ground attack aircraft.
In addition, the Air Force has S-211 trainer jets that are also used as maritime patrol aircraft and ground attack planes.
As maritime patrol aircraft, however, the S-211s are not that efficient since they lack electronic equipment to “see” what they are patrolling. Thus, what the aircraft can “see” are all that the two pilot can spot with their eyes.
The Air Force has five S-211 jets.
The F-16 “Fighting Falcon” is a multi-role jet fighter aircraft manufactured by Lockheed Corp.
It is meant to be and air superiority fighter.
Indonesia recently acquired 24 F-16 fighters. It is also used by the air forces of Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Singapore.
--------------------------------
SATURDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2011 18:42 NONNIE PELAYO / NEWS EDITOR

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Duterte visits Pakistan navy ship docked in Manila - CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 14) — President Rodrigo Duterte toured a Pakistani naval ship Thursday and extended an open invitation to its crew to visit the country any time.

The Navy Ship SAIF, one of the four F-22P or Zulfiguar-class frigates of Pakistan, is on a three-day goodwill visit. It will stay in the country until December 17.

For more about the CNN Philippines article.


According to the Naval Technology website:
The F-22P or Zulfiquar (English: Sword) class frigate is a 2,500t multi-mission, conventionally powered frigate built for the Pakistan Navy. Design and construction of the F-22P started after a $750m deal was signed in 2005 between Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) and China Shipbuilding Trading Co (CSTC). It is equipped with a 76.2mm main gun, an 8 round FM-90 Surface-to-Air Missile, C-802/CSS N-8 Surface-to-Surface Missile in 2 containers each containing 4 missiles, 2 Type-730B 30mm Close-in Weapon System, and 2 Triple ET-52C Torp…