Japan is willing to give a surveillance plane that the Philippines could use for patrols in the South China Sea, sources said, a move that would develop Tokyo’s security ties with the Southeast Asian country most inconsistent with Beijing over the disputed region
A three units of Beechcraft TC-90 King Air plane that could be fitted with fundamental surface and air observation radar.
They said talks inside of the Japanese government were preparatory and would need to overcome legitimate obstacles. Japan had yet to formally propose the planes as a different option for more complex Lockheed Martin P3-C aircraft that Manila needs to track Chinese submarine activity, they included.
Senior Philippine military and defense official in Manila said they had not heard in regards to the conceivable gift of the twin-turboprop TC-90 aircraft, which Japan uses to prepare and train military pilots.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ink an understanding that will exchange defense technology and equipment that could help the Philippine’s beef up patrols in areas of the West Philippine Sea also claimed by China.
“The Philippines doesn’t have enough aircraft to conduct regular patrols over the South China Sea,” one of the sources in Japan said, declining to be identified because he was not authorised to talk to the media.
Giving airplane, even little planes, would speak to a military upgrade for the Philippines, which has only a handful of fixed-wing planes it can deploy on maritime patrols.
Equipping Manila with maritime-capable patrol planes would dovetail with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s more solid security motivation however likely outrage and anger China, which has over and over blamed Japan for meddling in the South China Sea disputes.