From the Philippine Star (Jul 1): Aquino: New Phl fighter jets to boost territorial defense
The Philippines will be acquiring new FA-50 fighter jets from the Korea Aerospace Industries. Image from www.koreaaero.com
The country's territorial defense is expected to be strengthened with the arrival of the new fighter jets of the Philippine Air Force (PAF), President Benigno Aquino III said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the 67th anniversary rites of the PAF in Pampanga, Aquino said the Philippines will finally get next year two of the 12 new FA-50 fighter jets acquired from South Korea.
Aquino said the delivery of the remaining fighter jets will be completed by 2017.
"Mantakin po ninyo, simula nang i-retiro ang huli nating FA-50 fighter aircraft noong 2005, ay wala na tayong fighter jet na kayang tumanod para sa ating bansa," Aquino said in his speech.
"Kaya naman, sa paglapag ng sarili nating FA-50 sa ating bakuran, muli nating magagawang maipagtanggol ang ating teritoryo sa mas epektibong paraan," he added.
Aquino said the government is also planning to buy two long-range patrol aircraft, six close air support aircraft, eight combat utility helicopters, radar systems and other equipment for the PAF.
The President added that 17 more UH-1 helicopters are expected to arrive and join the four already possessed by the PAF.
The PAF currently has three C-130, eight Sokol combat utility helicopter, 18 basic trainer aircraft and 20 upgraded MD-520 MG helicopters, according to Aquino.
"Hindi na imposibleng magkaroon tayo ng makabagong fighter jets at mga kagamitan, at tingalain muli bilang modernong Sandatahan," Aquino said.
The Philippines is modernizing its military amid the increasing tensions in the disputed South China Sea, which is entirely being claimed by Beijing with its nine-dash line.