30 November 2015

Aquino OKs DND Request for 'Multi-Year-Contract' for 7 Modernization Projects

30 November 2015

F/A-50PH (photo : GMA Network)

CLARK AIR BASE, Pampanga (PNA) -- Modernization efforts for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has gained momentum after President Benigno S. Aquino III approved Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin's request to enter into a "multi-year contract" for seven acquisition projects.

This was disclosed by DND undersecretary for finance, munitions, material and modernization Fernando Manalo during the sidelights of FA-50PHs welcoming ceremony in Clark Air Base, Pampanga Saturday.

"PNoy (President Aquino) has approved the request of DND for SND to be authorized to enter into multi-year-contract. The approval will pave the way for the acquisition of 
-two frigates,  
-anti-submarine helicopters and 
-amphibious assault vehicle for the Philippine Navy; 
-long-range patrol aircraft, 
-close-air support aircraft, 
-munitions for FA-50 and 
-air surveillance for the Philippine Air Force," he added.

Manalo said payment from the seven projects will run from 2015 to 2018.

Granting of the MYC (multi-year contract) will allow the military to pursue modernization program beyond Aquino's term.

Total value of the seven projects is about PHP44 billion.(PNA)

FA-50PHs part of a bigger plan to acquire more advanced aircraft

CLARK AIR BASE, PAMPANGA (PNA) --- Despite the vast improvement of the supersonic FA-50PHs over the subsonic SIAI-Marchetti S-211s, pilots trained to fly the South Korean-made lift interim fighter aircraft is just part of a plan to acquire advanced multi-role fighter aircraft.

This was disclosed by Lt. Col. Rolando Conrad Peña III, one of the three Filipino pilots who undergone FA-50PH flight training with the Republic of Korea Air Force over the last six and a-half months.

He has over 56 hours of flying time with the FA-50PHs

"The FA-50PHs is part of a bigger plan to acquire more more advanced multi-role fighters," Peña said.

However, he did not give an exact timetable on when the more advanced fighter aircraft will be acquired.

“We are very much elated and very proud that we now have this state-of-the-art aircraft. We’ve flown a push-pull cable, subsonic aircraft – the S-211. Now that we have the FA-50PHs, it ushers in a new history, so flying, going back, return to the supersonic age so to speak,” Peña pointed out.

“The aircraft is a lead in fighter trainer so it is a light attack aircraft. It can do light multi-role missions but primarily it is a lead in fighter trainer. This is going to be a transition platform for us, from flying the subsonic S-211 to the more advanced multi-role fighters we’ll be acquiring,” he added.

Peña said the FA-50PHs would be used for various missions, including interception.

“We’ve been trained to do tactical intercepts, so we are able to do that,” he added.

Peña said the two aircraft arrived without any armament.

He said efforts are underway to acquire weapons for the aircraft, which may include air-to- air and air-to-ground capability.

“It has maximum payload capacity of 10,000 lbs so its very much capable. But of course, there are limitations but let’s not talk about the limitations.. Let’s talk about the capabilities and I think we bought the best lead in fighter trainer,” he said.

Peña said the Air Force can now respond faster to any situation.

“Now that we have a supersonic aircraft, our reaction time will be faster and we are more capable with this type of aircraft,” he said.

“This is really like a Ferrari because it is a fly-by wire aircraft.Its comparable to an F-16 but (it's a) little weak on some parameters but then it is best that the Air Force acquired at the moment. But we are looking forward to acquiring the multi-role fighters,” Peña said. (PNA)

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