SONA 2015: More air, navy assets coming

Great strides have been made in the acquisition of air assets and other equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). This was stressed by President Benigno S. Aquino III during his last State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) Monday.

He made this statement after noting that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) now has three Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” cargo planes in its inventory compared to the one it possessed during the previous administration.

Aquino also said that two more C-130s are scheduled to arrive within the next two years to augment the existing fleet.

The Chief Executive also added that the first of three EADS CASA C-295 medium lift transport have been delivered and another two will be commissioned before the end of the year.

He added that the PAF will also acquire two C-212 aircraft which will be also delivered.

This is on top of the 13 AgustaWestland AW-109 delivered to the Navy and Air Force.

Ten of the AW-109 helicopters are armed and four (two for Navy) are undergoing technical inspection and assessment as of this posting along with six Bell 412 combat utility helicopters.

Aquino stressed that the military modernization will get more impetus once the first two South Korean F/A-50 fighter jets, out of a 12 plane order, are delivered by December this year.

Aside from this, the Philippine Navy is now waiting the arrival of two Australian-donated landing craft heavies which will join the existing landing craft fleet.

Besides this, Aquino said that the country will also acquire two modern frigates and close-air support aircraft to augment existing units.

Other items in the pipeline include modern rifles, and grenade launchers.