Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Philippines To Purchase 12 Fighters From S. Korea

     From ABS-CBN News:

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) said they will be acquiring fighter jets in the next two years.

Twelve surface attack aircraft lead-in fighters or TA-50s from South Korea are expected to be delivered by 2013.

Each jet costs P1.25 billion for a total of P25 billion for the dozen jets.

The TA-50 is a supersonic aircraft that requires more experienced pilots.

Authorities said bulk of the P70 billion allocated for the modernization of the Armed Forces under the Aquino administration will go to the Air Force.

“Dati hindi natin pinapansin ang territorial defense dahil wala nga tayong capability gaya ngayon. ‘Yung  bangka ‘yung atin, ‘yung kalaban natin napakalaking platform. Ngayon, tumaas ang rating ng problema natin sa territorial defense. Hindi pala natin pwedeng isantabi,” said Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin.

    (Here is a translation from Google Translator, it's not the best but it gets the point across.)

The Air Force currently has two trainer jets, which are now nearly 25 years old.

The S-211s were originally meant for training purposes but the military was forced to use them in actual operations.

The PAF admits that this is the current image of the air power of the Philippines, which has been left behind by its neighbors.

The country's lone fighter jet, an F-5, was sidelined in 2005 and has yet to be replaced.

     The President of the Philippines discussed this on a radio show in May, but at the time I derided it as political posturing. Looks like he was serious about that. What I don't understand is why they chose the TA-50, as it is the attack model of the T-50 trainer. And as such doesn't have an good air-to-air combat capability like the F-16s they wanted. Still, it is better than nothing. 

Hat tip to Pacific Sentinel for spotting this.

Photo Credit: Sergey Ryabtsev

No comments:

Post a Comment