There is a strong possibility that all five Japanese Beech King Air TC-90s will be donated to the Philippine Navy (PN) at a later day.
This was stressed by PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna during the sidelights of the turn over ceremonies of the two TC-90 aircraft in Sangley Point, Cavite Monday.
“The whole project, which involves five units of TC-90s, is pursuant to the agreement between the Philippines and Japan signed in Manila on Feb. 29, 2016. The remaining three units are expected to arrive by the end of March 2018. The PN will temporarily lease the said aircraft amounting to USD 28,000 per year while awaiting for the legal framework that would allow Japan to donate defense equipment to foreign countries,” he added.
The TC-90s were leased by the Philippines from the Japan Minister of Defense as part of the efforts to boost the PN’s capability in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, limited transport, and maritime domain awareness including maritime air surveillance and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance.
In line with this, two Naval Air Group instructor pilots are currently undergoing TC-90 transition for pilot in command, test pilot and instructor pilot training in Tokushima, Japan, while six more PN personnel composing the aircraft maintenance crew are also undergoing maintenance training in Sendai and Tokushima.