The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) will deliver two of the five leased turbo-prop TC-90 aircraft to the Philippine Navy’s (PN) Sangley Point air facility on March 27. This was confirmed by Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna in an interview Thursday.
The aircraft will be delivered to the country by JMSDF pilots and will be formally transferred to the Navy on the same day.
Lincuna said the remaining three TC-90s will be transferred to the Navy before the end of the year.
He added that the TC-90s will be used to augment the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the Navy uses in patrol, surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and rapid assessment missions.
Last November, two PN pilots and six air crews 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 has 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 total of USD28,200 as stipulated in its lease agreement.
The DND added it is also looking at the possibility of using the TC-90 for 20 years while the military is upgrading 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 Feb. 29 last year.
The TC-90’s patrol range is double that of a small Philippine aircraft, which only has a maximum range of 300 km.