BECAUSE it would be hard to make a fly-by (a flight past a point) in Metro Manila, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will celebrate its 80th founding anniversary on December 21, 2015 outside its general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, even as the centrepiece of the event is a display of FA-50 fighter jets.
With President Benigno Aquino 3rd as guest speaker, the AFP anniversary will be held in Clark Air Base where, besides the first two FA-50 supersonic jets, newly acquired war materiel would be paraded.
The Air Force recently received the two FA-50 fighter jets , the first batch of aircraft that are part of the Air Force modernization program.
The FA-50s will replace the F-5 jet fighters, which were retired in 2004.
The Department of National Defense (DND) sealed the jet acquisition contract with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) last year at a cost of P18.9 billion.|
This year, the Navy accepted two Landing Craft Heavy (LCH), which were recently decommissioned and donated to the Philippines by Australia.
Navy officials said an LCH is an extremely important vessel, capable of moving large amounts of cargo, personnel and equipment from larger ships to shore.
A very shallow draft allows it to deliver troops and equipment to areas otherwise unreachable.
Unlike the landing craft utility (LCU) that was donated by South Korea to the Philippines, the two LCH are already in running condition and refurbished and equipped with new safety and navigation equipment, including spare parts.
South Korean officials said the LCU would boost capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR).
Also expected to be paraded are the 77 M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs) that are part of the US donation to the Philippine military to boost its capabilities and increase its assets.