The Philippine Air Force is undergoing a major modernization effort to enhance their capability to address both internal and external security concerns. With a focus on procuring state-of-the-art equipment, the Air Force is determined to overcome financial difficulties and make significant progress in its modernization journey. From Japan’s radar transfer to the procurement of Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters and the addition of Airbus Defense and Space C-295 Medium lift aircraft, the Philippine Air Force is on track to achieve its goals.
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is undergoing modernization to improve its aircraft and address security concerns. The PAF has procured the following systems:
- Japan Radar: A government-to-government transfer of three fixed long-range and one mobile radar systems valued at US$103.5 million produced by Mitsubishi Electric.
- Long-Range Maritime Patrol: PAF seeks to enhance its maritime patrol capabilities with a fleet of two anti-submarine warfare aircraft, which is now fully funded.
- Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk Helicopter: The Philippine Air Force has entered a contract with PZL Mielec for 32 units of Sikorsky’s S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, which will be delivered by 2026.
- Heavy Lift Helicopter: Initially a deal to purchase 16 Russian-made Mi-17 choppers was terminated due to fear of US sanctions, but the government is considering acquiring Chinook helicopters from Boeing using military aid provided by the US (need further verification).
- Attack Helicopter: Air Force purchased six T-129 ATAK helicopter for PHP13.7 billion, which will be delivered in 2024 and have capabilities for close air support, precision strike, suppression of air defense, and so on..
- Medium Lift Aircraft: PAF added 2 units of Airbus Defense and Space C-295 medium-lift aircraft as part of the 2nd phase of the AFP Modernization Program.
- Ground-based Air Defense System: The Philippines received the Israel Spyder Air Defense System last year, this will to protect vital assets of Armed Forces against aerial threats like combat aircraft and incoming missiles.