For the LIFT planes the options include TA-50 Golden Eagle, M-346 Master, Yak-130 Mitten, and L-159B ALCA. For the SAA planes the options inculde AT-6B Texan II, EMB 314 Super Tucano, KA-1 Wongbee, andAir Tractor AT-802U. (photo : network54)
PAF getting new planes
QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is planning to revive the famed "Blue Diamond" Squadron as soon as it acquires new aircraft capable of defending the country's airspace and humanitarian missions.
This was learned from PAF spokesman Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol in an exlusive interview at Villamor Air Base (VAB) in
“We have identified our needs through our capability upgrade program (CUP) and Defense Acquisition System (DAS) as identified by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,” Okol told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).
Okol said the highest priority is the revival of the country’s Air Defense System (ADS) which is in the form of Lead-in Fighter Trainers (LIFT)-Surface Attack Aircraft (SAA) role to be used for territorial defense as well as infrastructure.
He said the PAF is expected to acquire new planes July 2012. These include TA-50 Golden Eagle (Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) of
South Korea; M-346 Master - Alenia Aermacchi ( Italy); Yak-130 Mitten - Yakovlev Design Bureau
( Russia); and L-159B ALCA -
Aero Vodochody ( ). Czech
Okol said the PAF is also looking to replace its entire OV-10 Bronco fleet which is currently used for close air support and aerial reconnaissance platforms.
Being considered are the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6B Texan II, Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano, KAI KA-1 Woongbi, and, reportedly, the Air Tractor Air Tractor AT-802U.
Hawker Beechcraft demonstrated their AT-6B Texan II, together with their other aircraft line, on April 2012 with a display at Clark Air Base
PAF retired its fleet of Northrop F-5A/B Freedom Fighter with a ceremony on October 1, 2005. The F-5s were used by the PAF's Blue Diamonds aerobatics team and have appeared in several films and television programs shot in the
Okol said PAF is prioritizing the resurgence of its capability by acquiring leading multi-role fighter jets and other aircraft with disaster response capability. “If we already have a hundred fighter planes then we can revive the Blue Diamonds,” he said.
In June 2010, the Department of National Defense (DND) was also looking at
used CF-18s or
for its used Mirage F1s, although no decision or purchase came up France
The PAF official said a country’s precision aerobatics team carries the type of a combat aircraft of a nation.
has the “Thunderbirds” for the Air
Force and “Blue Angels” for the Navy. United
Recently, PAF acquired multi-role helicopters worth P 2.8 billion which the
received as part of its modernization program. Philippines
The new W-3 Sokol (Falcon) helicopters are used for combat support as well as disaster relief missions.
“Our pilots are already training for the use of four of these newly acquired aircraft in time for the rainy season,” Okol said. (PAF/RJB/JCA-PIA NCR)