Philippine army receives $1.77-billion upgrade

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Phil armyThe Philippine government is set to spend $1.77 billion for military modernisation projects by 2017 as the country faces a territorial dispute with China.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, speaking at a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the country’s armed forces on December 21, said his administration had already spent $1.2 billion on “big-ticket” modernisation programmes since 2010 when he took office, acquiring a squadron of light fighters from South Korea and combat helicopters from Italy. The US has transferred two former coast guard cutters and transport planes to the Philippines.

The president said equipment purchased included FA-50 jets, the country’s first supersonic fighter aircraft for a decade. Two of the 12 South Korean-made jets have already been delivered and the rest is expected to arrive before the end of 2017.

With the new budget, plans are to acquire new frigates, strategic sealift vessels, long-range patrol and close air support aircraft and other equipment, according to Aquino.

The strategic sealift vessels, being built in an Indonesian shipyard, will be delivered early next year and an Israeli-made radar system will be ready by 2017, the same time all the fighters from South Korea are delivered.

The arms purchases are part of a 15-year modernisation plan of the underequipped Philippine army to spend a total of about $21 billion to put the country’s army at par with its Southeast Asian neighbours.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The Philippine government is set to spend $1.77 billion for military modernisation projects by 2017 as the country faces a territorial dispute with China.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Phil armyThe Philippine government is set to spend $1.77 billion for military modernisation projects by 2017 as the country faces a territorial dispute with China.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino, speaking at a ceremony to mark the 80th anniversary of the country’s armed forces on December 21, said his administration had already spent $1.2 billion on “big-ticket” modernisation programmes since 2010 when he took office, acquiring a squadron of light fighters from South Korea and combat helicopters from Italy. The US has transferred two former coast guard cutters and transport planes to the Philippines.

The president said equipment purchased included FA-50 jets, the country’s first supersonic fighter aircraft for a decade. Two of the 12 South Korean-made jets have already been delivered and the rest is expected to arrive before the end of 2017.

With the new budget, plans are to acquire new frigates, strategic sealift vessels, long-range patrol and close air support aircraft and other equipment, according to Aquino.

The strategic sealift vessels, being built in an Indonesian shipyard, will be delivered early next year and an Israeli-made radar system will be ready by 2017, the same time all the fighters from South Korea are delivered.

The arms purchases are part of a 15-year modernisation plan of the underequipped Philippine army to spend a total of about $21 billion to put the country’s army at par with its Southeast Asian neighbours.

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