MANILA—The Philippine Navy (PN) will formally receive two units of the Beechcraft TC-90 training aircraft from the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) on Monday.
A transfer ceremony will take place at the Naval Air Group headquarters, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City.
Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said these aircraft were leased from the JMOD as part of the Navy’s efforts to enhance its capability in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, limited transport, and maritime domain awareness, including maritime air surveillance and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance.
The whole project involves five units of TC-90s. The remaining three units are expected to arrive by mid-2018.
Last November, two PN pilots and six air crew members left for Japan to start their TC-90 flight training.
The Department of National Defense (DND) earlier announced that the Philippines will re-equip the TC-90s as Japan had stripped them of some equipment, including their surveillance systems.
The country will pay Japan USD7,000 each for the first four aircraft yearly and only USD200 for the fifth, for a total of USD28,200 as stipulated in its lease agreement.
The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90s for 20 years as the military upgrades its equipment.
The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized on Feb. 29, 2016.
The TC-90’s patrol range is double those of small Philippine aircraft which only have a maximum range of 300 km.