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AFP to get P3.4 B equipment this year


MANILA, Philippines - A total of P3.4-billion worth of projects for the military’s modernization program will be completed this year, data from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) showed.

The projects include the delivery of combat utility helicopters and equipment for coast watch stations and the upgrading of air assets.

The delivery of eight combat utility helicopters worth P2.66 billion is expected to be made on Nov. 18 (?) this year to enhance the AFP’s internal security operations.

The delivery of three multi-purpose attack craft worth P268.99 million is also set on Nov. 11 (?) for counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist operations, interdiction, and patrol.

Also on the list of deliverables this year are 100 units of 81 mm mortar worth P190.32 million. The mortar, whose delivery will be completed on Aug. 3, will be used to provide fire support to battalions.

Equipment upgrades for two coast watch stations will be completed on March 6. The P23.6-million project involved the acquisition of radar system, visual monitoring system, communication system, and power system for stations in Mindanao.

The P240-million upgrade for the Air Force’s MD 520MG helicopter is also expected to be completed this year. (?)

The project involved the overhaul and enhancement of 20 Rolls Royce engines installed in the aircraft.

The project also aims to extend the service life of the existing fleet of MD 520MG, restore their original fire power capability and enhance the safety of their pilots.

On the other hand, the delivery of P37.44-million multi-purpose rocket launchers will be in October. The project entails the acquisition of 33 units of shoulder-fired rocket launchers to be used for both offensive and defensive operations.

The AFP said the project was undertaken “in view of the recent developments in addressing international terrorism.” The rocket launchers would be used by the Presidential Security Group.

The government has vowed to beef up the AFP’s capabilities as it faces threats posed by terrorism and insurgency while shifting towards territorial defense.

The Aquino administration has bared plans to acquire surface attack aircraft, air defense radars, long-range patrol aircraft and closed air support aircraft for the Air Force.

For the Navy, the government wants to buy strategic sea-lift vessels with amphibious vessels, off-shore patrol vessels, three naval helicopters, coast watch stations and weather-heavy endurance cutters.

The Army will also be provided with new assault rifles, armor assets, tanks, armored personnel carriers, force protection equipment like helmets and bulletproof vests, night-fighting equipment and radios. – Alexis Romero
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By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) Updated January 13, 2012 12:00 AM
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