Tuesday, July 1, 2014
CLARK AIR BASE, Pampanga-President Benigno Aquino III announced Tuesday that territorial defense and disaster response capabilities of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) shall be reinforced with the arrival of new fighter jets which the government purchased from South Korea.
“Sa susunod na taon, inaasahan nating mapasakamay na ang dalawa sa 12 FA-50 lead-in fighter trainer. Target pong makumpleto ang delivery ng mga ito pagdating ng 2017. (Next year, we shall have two out of a total 12 FA-50 lead-in fighter trainer. The delivery is targeted to be completed by 2017),” Aquino told attendees of the service branch’s 67thanniversary rites.
The FA-50 is a multirole fighter variant of KAI's T-50 Golden Eagle and features upgraded EL/M-2032 pulse-doppler radar, advanced avionics, a longer radome, a greater internal fuel capacity, and a tactical datalink.
PAF retired its last fighter jet, the F-5 freedom fighter aircraft, in 2005.
Moreover, Aquino disclosed that the remaining 17 of a total of 21 UH-1 helicopters are due for delivery this year.
In addition, his administration plans to purchase eight more combat utility helicopters, two long-range patrol aircrafts, six close-air support aircrafts, and radar systems among others.
“Kaakibat ng lahat ng ito ang pagsigurong hindi kailanman mawawala ang kakayahan nating magpalipad ng mga fighter jet sa pamamagitan ng mga pagsasanay, at magpatupad ng nararapat na command and control structure para sa mga operasyon nito (On top of this, we ensure that we never lose our capacity to aviate fighter jets through trainings and enforce the appropriate command and control structure for these operations),” the Chief Executive stressed.
Meanwhile, the President extended his gratitude to the members of PAF, urging them to keep up the good work.
He said that as commander in chief, he is proud to become a leader of a nation that does what is right and is always ready for any challenge.
PAF was founded on July 1, 1947- two years after the end of World War II.
It traces its lineage to the Philippine Army Air Corp, which was established in 1941.
This year’s celebration carried the theme “PAF at 67: Soaring High for Peace, Freedom, and Development.”
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