Philippines to buy 12 S. Korean fighter jets

The Philippines will buy 12 South Korean FA-50 fighter jets to strengthen its poorly-armed military, government spokesmen said Wednesday, amid increasing maritime tensions with China.

The FA-50s will be the first fighter jets to be operated by the Philippine air force since it retired the last of its US-designed F-5 fighters in 2005, said President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

"We don't have any existing jets right now that are in use, therefore it is necessary for us to upgrade. This is part of the ongoing process of modernising our military hardware," he told reporters.

Lacierda said the jets would be used for "training, interdiction and disaster response" and would use their aerial cameras to survey areas.

He stressed that the planned purchase was "not aimed at any particular country" despite the new tensions with China over conflicting maritime territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Defence department spokesman Peter Galvez said the FA-50 was chosen because it fitted all the country's requirements and because of its cost, adding that 18.9 billion pesos ($464 million) had been budgeted for their acquisition.

Manila will now begin negotiations for the aircraft, he said, adding that the government will seek to have two planes delivered as soon as possible so Filipino pilots can begin training on them.

In recent months the cash-strapped Philippines has stepped up efforts to modernise its military in the face of increasing Chinese assertiveness in pressing its claims to most of the South China Sea.

Although the Philippines has long relied on its defence ties with the United States for most of its arms, it has recently been seeking more weaponry from other countries like Poland, Spain, Italy, Canada and France.

President Aquino discussed acquiring more South Korean military equipment when South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak visited the country in November 2011.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Ayungin dilemma Ramon Casiple - Parallaxis
    Ayungin dilemma

    China faces a dilemma in Ayungin Shoal and other contested areas. If it waits for the ITLOS—which may decide against it—it would have tacitly bound itself to UNCLOS and risk a rogue state reputation if it asserts its claim in the South China Sea. If its militarily acts now, it may face international isolation. …

  • 48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao VERA Files - The Inbox
    48 nabbed in biggest anti-trafficking catch in Bongao

    By Jake Soriano, VERA Files Bongao, Tawi-tawi—A team of Marines and policemen intercepted around noon Thursday 48 people, 12 of them minors, believed recruited by a human trafficking syndicate for work in Malaysia. The arrest constitutes what advocates called the … Continue reading → …

  • Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docs vow to pay right taxes, make peace with BIR

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files Leaders of the medical profession have made peace with their former adversary, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), and joined forces in a campaign to get doctors to pay the right taxes. BIR Commissioner … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options