WITH the deliveries of the South Korean-made FA-50PH “Fighting Eagle” jet fighters nearing completion and other new equipment expected, the government is looking for more platforms to boost external defense, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.
“As we are now in the second horizon of our Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization program, we are looking into the acquisition of more equipment for our external defense missions,” he said.
Lorenzana said he was looking at acquiring missile-armed frigates, anti-submarine helicopters, multi-role fighters and long-range patrol aircraft, among others.
Last March 29, two more FA-50 jet fighters were delivered at Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, increasing the number of Mach 1.5 jet aircraft in the Air Force inventory to eight.
Another four are expected to be delivered within the year, completing the country’s 12-plane order from Korea Aerospace Industries worth P18.9 billion.
The AFP Modernization Program is divided into three “horizons,” with the first lasting from 2013 to 2017, the second from 2018 to 2022 and the third 2023 to 2028.
The second phase calls for the acquisition of equipment more attuned to external defense missions and has a programmed funding of around P100 billion.