President Benigno Aquino III confirmed today during the Philippine Air Force change-of-command ceremony at Fernando Air Base, Lipa City, Batangas that five Japanese aircraft will soon fly over West Philippine Sea for patrol missions. These Japanese aircraft will be leased to Philippines.
In the event, the President highlighted latest acquisitions for Philippine Air Force which include the FA-50PHs, 8 Bell-412 combat utility helicopters, 3 C-295 medium-lift aircraft, and 8 AW-109E attack helicopters.
He then mentioned that Japan will be leasing Philippines with five TC-90 aircraft to help patrol West Philippine Sea. “Nakapila na rin ang pagdating ng dalawa pang C-130 ngayong taon; pati na ang pag-arkila natin mula sa Japan ng limang TC-90 training aircraft, na tutulong naman sa ating Hukbong Dagat sa pagpapatrolya sa ating teritoryo, partikular na sa West Philippine Sea.
The Japanese government previously said these aircraft will be leased at a very minimal price for purpose of legality.
The lease agreement will be made possible after Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Japanese Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa formally signed the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology last February 29, 2016. The agreement will provide framework for Japan to transfer defense equipment and technology to the Philippines.
The Philippines is the first ASEAN country with which Japan has concluded such agreement.
Meanwhile, the Department of National Defense (DND) is on the process of procuring 2 long-range patrol aircraft. The bid opening for LRPA acquisition project is scheduled on March 14.
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