An Israeli firm with the approval from the Philippine government is close to forging a deal worth P2.68 billion for the supply of three air surveillance radars to boost the Philippines’ territorial defense capabilities.

Undersecretary Fernando Manalo of the Department of National Defense (DND) said that an Israeli company, Elta System Limited “could sign a contract for the radars system anytime.”

“Early this month a notice of award was issued to Elta for the immediate implementation of the radar project,” Manalo said.

The issuance of the notice of award is an important step in the procurement process as it leads to the actual implementation of the project.

“The signing will be done anytime,” Manalo said when asked for the status of the air surveillance radars project.

Manalo said, “the radars may be delivered next year.”

“The radars will enhance the capabilities of the Air Force in terms of maritime domain awareness,” he added.

A year ago, the Philippines government is all set to purchase three air search radars from Israel to strengthen its monitoring capabilities in the West Philippine Sea, where more than $5 trillion worth of trade passes through every year.

Unfortunately, the procurement for such radars was slowed down for quite a while as President Aquino only approved the amended military modernization program last July, six days before his last State of the Nation Address.

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According to the revised military modernization law enacted in 2012, A recommendation of the defense and budget secretaries list of military defense items that will be purchased with the President final approval should be forwarded to Congress within 60 days since the law took effect. - Carl E