Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff General Eduardo Año said the newly delivered Beechcraft TC-90 training aircraft from Japan will be deployed to West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise, and any parts of the country where they may be needed.
The 2 of 5 Japanese aircraft were assigned to Philippine Navy-Naval Air Group which mainly provides assets for maritime reconnaissance and support missions. 5 aircraft are expected to be completed early 2018. The Philippine government will lease the aircraft from Japanese government for a ‘give away’ price, however, these aircraft are likely to be donated at a later date.
TC-90s will augment the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet, which the Philippine Navy uses in patrol, surveillance and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) and rapid assessment missions, Navy spokesperson Captain Lued Lincuna previously said.
“We do not allocate an aircraft just for one area, so when it flies to one particular area, they can go to any area in our country,” Navy Flag Officer in-Command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado said.
“First of all, both aircraft will be used for our maritime air surveillance to be able to give us a better picture of maritime domain, what we call maritime domain awareness. The only difference is that this is a faster aircraft,” Vice Admiral Mercado explained. with PNA