The Philippines will buy three new transport planes from Spain to strengthen its poorly equipped military in handling external threats and natural disasters, the military spokesman said on Sunday.
The first of the three C295 planes will be delivered this month in a deal costing a total of P5.29 billion, according to Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala.
“One will be delivered by the end of this month . . . for HADR [humanitarian assistance and disaster relief], military transport and other (uses),” he said.
The C295 is a twin-turboprop aircraft capable of carrying up to nine tons or 71 soldiers, using short, unprepared airstrips according to the website of the manufacturer, the Airbus Defense and Space arm.
The Philippines, which has one of the region’s weakest militaries, has been trying to modernize its armed forces amid growing tensions with China over disputed territory in the South China Sea.
Last year, it signed an agreement to buy 12 South Korean-made FA-50 jets for about $421.12 million.