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Jets, radar to boost Phl's territorial defense


MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Air Force (PAF) expects the delivery of several jets and radar equipment for territorial defense during the term of President Aquino.


PAF spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said the acquisitions would boost the country’s defense stance against external threats.


He said six surface attack jets and trainer aircraft; a long-range patrol plane, one air defense radar, and a special mission airplane are expected to arrive in the country starting this year until 2016.


“This is a result of the defense acquisition system and the senior leaders’ meetings that they conduct very often. Hopefully, we will see initial deliveries by 2013 to 2014 or at the most 2015,” Okol said.


The new military equipment would be part of the second phase of the military’s modernization program to be implemented from 2012 to 2016. 


The first phase included the acquisition of defense equipment that would improve the Armed Forces’ capability to conduct internal security operations.


The PAF would also acquire eight helicopters, seven attack helicopters, a C-130 cargo plane, and a long-range patrol aircraft and 18 basic trainer planes.


The 18 basic trainer planes have been delivered while others are in various stages of procurement.


The third phase of the modernization program to be implemented after 2016 would involve the acquisition of advanced multi-role fighter jets and long-range patrol aircraft and radars, Okol said.


Four brand new combat utility helicopters from two foreign firms arrived at the former Clark Air Base in Pampanga last month.


The “Sokol” helicopters were purchased from Augusta PZL Swidnik of Italy and Poland.
Four more combat utility helicopters from Augusta PZL Swidnik are expected to arrive in the fourth quarter. The acquisition of the eight helicopters costs P2.8 billion.


The military earlier announced that the first batch of helicopters would arrive in November 2011. The four helicopters, however, arrived three months after.


The Sokol helicopters have night-vision capability and could accommodate 10 passengers.


The military expects the completion of the delivery of P3.4 billion worth of military hardware this year.


Okol said the PAF also expects the delivery of eight combat utility helicopters, three multi-purpose attack aircraft, equipment for coast watch stations, and 33 multi-purpose rocket launchers for the Presidential Security Group.



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Alexis Romero | The Philippine Star | March 06, 2012 | Article Link

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