MANILA–With the deliveries of the South Korean-made FA-50PH “Fighting Eagle” jet fighters nearing completion and more modern equipment coming in line, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippines is now looking for more platforms that will further boosts its external defense capabilities.
“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 added.
While Lorenzana did not give specifics on what kind of equipment the DND is looking to acquire, he said it is possible that these include missile-armed frigates, anti-submarine helicopters, and multi-role fighters, long-range patrol aircraft, to name a few.
Last March 29, two more FA-50 jet fighters were delivered in Clark Air Base, 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 PHP18.9 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 third 2023 to 2028.
The Second Horizon calls for the acquisition of equipment more attuned to external defense missions and has a programmed funding of around PHP100 billion.