Five type aircraft : attack aircraft, lead-in fighter-trainers, attack helicopters, light transport and medium transport aircraft were all expected to be delivered within two years (photo : Militaryphotos)
Philippine Air Force to Get New Warplanes by 2014
which is now embroiled in a territorial dispute with , is set to acquire new
warplanes in two years to upgrade its poorly-equipped air force, the defence
minister said Friday. China
Attack aircraft, lead-in fighter-trainers, attack helicopters and light and medium transport aircraft were all expected to be delivered within two years, Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.
Speaking at the 65th anniversary of the Philippine Air Force, Gazmin said "these aircraft shall once and for all, erase the ironic and naughty commentary that our present airforce is all air, devoid of force."
The defence department also plans to sign contracts by July 31 to implement 138 military modernisation projects over the next five years, he added, without saying how much the contracts would cost or who would supply such equipment.
has one of the most poorly-equipped militaries in the region, having retired
the last of its fighter jets in 2005. Philippines
The weakness of the military was highlighted when the
Philippines got into a standoff with China in April over the Scarborough Shoal, an
outcropping of rocks in the South China Sea
that both countries claim as their territory.
The two countries also have wider territorial disputes over parts of the Spratly islands in the
South China Sea
Gazmin did not mention the territorial dispute but stressed that air force personnel were all over the archipelago, including the West Philippine Sea-- the local term for the
South China Sea.
has looked to its main defence ally, the United
States, to help it upgrade its armed forces but President
Benigno Aquino said in an interview in May, that it was looking for aircraft
from outside the
as well. US