The Philippines Air Force (PAF) is identifying a set of priorities in its medium-term military modernizations program procurement for the 2nd horizon in the flight plan 2028.

A senior PAF official said before the Asian Defence and Security 2016 (ADAS 2016) exhibition in Manila that it need to secure additional orders for light combat aircraft and attack helicopters. A requirement specified in the said flight plan.

AW109 power light attack helicopters by Finmeccanica/Leonardo

The PAF would look to secure government approval for the procurement of 12 units more of AW109 power light attack helicopters produced by Finmeccanica (Leonardo from January 2017).

According to the PAF official, acquisitions of AW109s had become more urgent for the PAF after President Rodrigo Duterte announced in June 2016, the immediate procurement of attack choppers with night vision capabilities.

KIA FA-50 multi-role fighter jet
KIA FA-50 multi-role fighter jet

The next priority equipment in the said flight plan is the procurement of additional 3 squadron or 36 units of KAI, FA-50 multi-role fighter jet. It aims to “detect, intercept and neutralize” any perceived threat in Philippines exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

But for now procuring a fighter jet is far to reality since it has less appeal to the president. He said “buying FA-50s is a “waste of money.” and may have little or no use at all in addressing the insurgency problem.” – JCE.