• Aquino OKs P44-B defense spending

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    EAGLE HAS LANDED One of the two Fa-50 fighter jets taxis into the tarmac of clark air Base. PHOTO By  CESAR DANCEL

    EAGLE HAS LANDED One of the two Fa-50 fighter jets taxis into the tarmac of clark air Base. PHOTO By CESAR DANCEL

    Frigates, anti-sub choppers, surveillance planes in DND shopping list

    CLARK FREEPORT ZONE: President Benigno Aquino 3rd has authorized the Department of National Defense to enter into a P44-billion multi-year contract for seven major military acquisitions as part of measures to beef up the armed forces, a defense official announced Saturday.

    Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo told reporters, who witnessed the arrival of the first two of 12 FA-50 Golden Eagle lead-in fighter-trainer jets acquired by the government from South Korea, that the President signed the proposal last Friday, November 27.

    “In-approve na ni Presidente iyong authority ni SND (Secretary of National Defense) to enter into a multi-year contract for seven projects,” Manalo, the official in charge of the military’s modernization program, said.

    He said among those in the “new” shopping list were two frigates, anti-submarine helicopters, amphibious assault vehicles, long range patrol aircraft, close air support aircraft, munitions for the FA-50s and an air surveillance radar for the Philippine Air Force.

    The payment for the projects will start from 2015 to 2017 or 2018, Manalo said.
    It was not clear if Manalo’s disclosure was a repeat of what he said last July.

    He then said that the President had signed a P60 billion “shopping list” last July 22.

    Included in the list were frigates worth P18 billion, three air surveillance radars worth P2.68 billion, six close air support aircraft worth P4.97 billion, two units of long range patrol aircraft worth P5.98 billion, multi-purpose attack craft project worth P864.32 million, night fighting system worth P1.116 billion; two C-130 aircraft worth P1.6 billion, two naval helicopters worth P5.4 billion and lead-in fighter trainer jets ammunition worth P4.47 billion.

    The July shopping list also includes four basing support system and logistics projects with a total budget of P2.15 billion, radio communications system for the Philippine Army, thermal imaging device, field ambulance units, armored personnel carriers, flight simulators, amphibious assault vehicles, combat systems, light utility vehicles and engineering equipment.

    The ‘Eagles’ have landed
    The delivery of the two FA-50 jets marked the country’s return to supersonic fighter jet status after almost a decade, amid growing tensions with China.

    The two new aircraft are the first of an order of 12 and signal a new readiness by Manila to assert itself militarily.

    The two fighters, flown from Seoul by South Korean pilots, were met in Philippine airspace by two Italian-made S211 subsonic jets which escorted them to the Clark Air Base where they were received by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, commanding general of the Philippine Air Force.

    The two FA-50s and the two S-211 flew in a diamond formation to symbolize their “integration” into the Philippine Air Force before landing. The new jets were given a “water cannon salute” as they taxied into the Haribon Hangar.

    “We’re glad. We are finally back to the supersonic age,” he told reporters as he inspected the “Golden Eagle” jets.

    Gazmin has said the aircraft could serve as both trainers and fighters, and that among the areas they would be posted will be the western island of Palawan, the country’s closest point to the West Philippine Sea where the Philippines has a territorial dispute with China.

    China claims most of the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea and even up to the coastline of its neighbours. Other countries have conflicting claims and the Philippines has been the most vocal in opposing China despite its overwhelming military superiority.

    The cash-strapped Philippines, which is also battling internal communist and Muslim insurgencies, has long neglected external defense, relying on ageing ships and aircraft to patrol the disputed waters.

    It retired the last of its supersonic fighter jets, US-made F-5 Freedom Fighters, in 2005 due to their age and since then has relied on propeller-driven planes and the Italian-made S211.

    The S211s are intended for training new pilots and are not capable of supersonic flight. But the military has been forced to use them for other roles such as patrolling territory and conducting bombing missions on insurgents.

    However, as the country’s economy improved, Philippine President Benigno Aquino has been upgrading the military, acquiring two surplus frigates from the United States and new aircraft from different sources.

    The two new FA-50s are part of the P18.9 million contract entered into by the government with the Korea Aerospace Industries. All 12 aircraft are expected to be completely delivered by 2017.

    The armed forces earlier said the new fighter jets will be based in the former Cubi Air Station in Subic while the new frigates would also be home-ported at the former US naval base.

    The fighter jets would still have to undergo technical inspection and acceptance flights before it would be turned over to the PAF.

    The PAF sent three pilots to South Korea early this year to undergo training in operating the FA-50.

    Lt. Col. Rolando Peña 3rd, one of the pilots who wento to Korea for flight training, said they trained with Korean fighter pilots for six and a half months.

    “We had instructor pilots who are one of the best fighter pilots of Korea and the training was tough because we have to learn the system of the aircraft because it is a fly by wire aircraft so it’s really different from what we used to fly,” he said.

    With AFP

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    12 Comments

    1. as a good start its ok to have this trainer cum jet fighter. but it will all come to zero if we cant armed them w/ air to air & air to surface missiles. this is the jet age the canons are for insurgency use only, what we need are external defence.

    2. we need at least 3 squadrons of jet fighters not trainer jets converted to fighter jets. and these are SU 34, Gripen, F16s, MIG 31s, with missiles and radars and other munitions. we need more corvettes and frigrates and patrol ships for the coast guard. Lastly we need to develop and support the local defense industries for self reliance.

    3. dapat pasalamat tayo kay Pnoy dahil siya lang ang nagpursige di tulad ng mga nakaraang Pres na puro budget lang, saan kaya napunta ang mga pera noon.?

      • Barya Barya lang yan binibigay ni Pnoy sa AFP para ma cover up yung pagnanakaw ng kanyang administration. Phil Tribune Oct.7,2015/Nov.30,2015 Sabi ni former budgets sec Diokno ang Pnoy administration ay meron underspending ng P672B from 2011-2014 at lately humirit ng P3.002B for 2016NB with inserted P300B plus SPF ni Pnoy. Trilyones na Pera yan Underspending at SPF. Ngunit sa AFP P44B for 2015-2017 lamang. Yan deal sa South Korea ng FA50s ay nangyari dahil nagpa utang ang SK ng $500M sa Pnoy administration at mga Pilipinong taxpayers ang magbabayad nyan. Umutang din sa Japan ng $267M. Google mo from 2013-2014 yan. Consuelo De bobo lang yan pagbili ng mga FA50s Pero meron mas malaking kurakot sa likod nyan at Trilyones ang halaga.

    4. Now, with the delivery of 2 FA-50 jets from Korea , the RP is now ready for the shooting war with China in the disputed WPS/SCS. This made me to suspect more that the tenant in Malacanang is determined to use his last options since Mar is certainly to lose the May 2016 elections. The shooting war with china will definitely be used for the emergency powers of the said tenant to declare martial law to cuncur by rubber stamp senate. This will enable him to have hold grip on the military and declare military junta or revolutionary government or whichever is appropriate. Then follows what late Dictator Cory did fired his VP Binay. Then, ceasefire and hold bilateral talks with China. Meanwhile, his minions will be busy preparing constitutional assymbly appointed by said tenant. THAT’S IT HAPPY DAY ARE BACK WITH THE OLIGARCHS

    5. Kung hindi pa sinakop ng china ng isa nating isla, hindi gagastusan ng gobyernong dilawan ang ating military defense..At muling sasakupin uli ng china ang isa pa nating isla na pangalawa. Dapat nuon pa nila after EDSA 1 ginastusan na nila ang ating Defense dept para hindi nakaporma ang tsina. Pinabayaan ng mga nakaraaang administration ang ating defense. Ngayon na kukunin uli ng Tsina ang lahat ng ating isla,saka lang nagkukumahog sa pagkilos ang presidenteng bugok kasama si gazmin na walang alam sa mga bagay na ito..Kaya this is the sole responsibility of the President ang pagkawala ng ating Isla sa kamay ng Tsina..This is the fault of this administration..Gising Pilipinas .. Zero vote to liberal party. The thief group of the nation.

      • FYI 1-Scarborough Shoal sa Zambales at 6-Reefs sa Spratlys na ang nakuha ng china. Susunod na yan Ayungin Shoal, Pag Asa Island, Recto Bank, Sulu Sea at Palawan. Last Nov.9-18,2015 nag standby ang Chinese coast guard 4 miles from Pag Asa Island for 9 Days! Kitang kita sa ABS CBN TV Patrol ang Chinese CG at mismo ang mayor ng PI ang nagrereport at sabi Nya Wala dao reaction ang AFP natin at first time dao 4 miles only nag standby ang Chinese CG sa PI. Meron bagong surplus bili ng govierno 2-USCG cutter Pero ni anino Wala sa Area. Ganyan ka inutil itong Abnoy administration at pinapabayaan lamang sakupin ng china ang lahat sa atin within our EEZs.

    6. 2013 pa nasa Malacanang na ang request ng AFP 28 Modernization Projects at ngayon 2015 lamang inaprove ni Pnoy. Bakit tumagal ng husto at 2011 sa SONA Nya sabi Nya bibili tayo ng 2- Navy Frigates to defend our Recto Bank. Di Sana nakuha yung 6-Reefs at 1-Scarborough Shoal Kung inaction yan agad! Susunod na makukuha yan Ayungin Shoal, Pag Asa Island, Recto Bank, Sulu Sea, Palawan. Di Sana nakaporma ang mga Chinese PLA sa Spratly Kung maagang nabili yan mga pang defensa natin. Bakit P44B lamang? Phil Tribune Oct.72015 Sabi ni former Budget Sec Diokno ang Pnoy Administration meron Underspending ng P672B at itong 2016 NB ay 3.002T with inserted P300B Plus SPF ni Pnoy. Kung totoo Ito Aba e Barya Barya lang ang sa AFP. Cover Up lang Ito sa laki ng kurakot nila para di magalit ang mga Tao. P672B + P300 plus SFP is Trillions of pesos! Mucho Pera! Barya lang sa AFP!

    7. When will SAF-PNP train its commandos on more appropriate terrain maneuvers? Hopefully before another disaster strikes because of lousy map-reading, Pinas SAF-PNP commandos would be done with using Google-map and cell phones for terrain maneuvers.

    8. Mariano Patalinjug on

      Yonkers, New York
      29 Nov. 2015

      “Better late than never!”

      Now, rather late in the day, the Philippine Establishment is finally waking up to the scary fact that in terms of its defense capabilities, the country has been as “naked” or as defenseless as any country could ever get.

      It is good to know that in next year’s budget, the Defense Department will get P44 billion to acquire 2 frigates, anti-sub helicopters, amphibious assault vehicles, long-range patrol aircraft, close air support aircraft, munitions for the FA-50s jets and an air surveillance radar for the Philippine Air Force.[The amount comes to around 1.46 percent of the country’s National Budget of around P3 trillion.]

      The Defense Department’s Modernization Program should get the full support of the President and the Congress year in and year out, from here on for at least a period of ten years.

      Under its Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States, in the event of a hot war between the US and China, as a committed and reliable ally of the US, the Philippines should be able to contribute not just “bodies” to the alliance but also all the modern instruments of war.

      MARIANO PATALINJUG. patalinjugmar@gmail.com

    9. A dozen anti-aircraft batteries and anti-ship missiles facing the West Philippine Sea is a good addition to our defenses.