US gives SABIR system to improve PAF capabilities
The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has formally received a Special Airborne Mission Installation and Response (SABIR) system from United States in a ceremony in Pasay City on Tuesday.
Maj. Aristides Galang, PAF spokesman, said the acceptance, blessing and turnover ceremonies led by al Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza and US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim was held at the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing Fixed Hangat, Col. Jesus Villamor Air Base.
In an ambush interview, Kim emphasized the importance of the SABIR system.
"I think this is a very important development in improving the capability of the Philippines Air Force obviously in the maritime domain. This is a critical asset but I think it will also help in terms of counter terrorism, border patrols so many different ways and of course maritime assistance as well. So we are very proud to make this contribution to the Philippine Air Force,” Kim said.
Lorenzana said the system can also used in damage assessment of areas hit by calamities and patrolling other areas.
“For patrolling the West Philippine Sea, the East Philippine Sea, and Philippine Rise and Sulu Sea so this is actually what I was telling you about the gap in our surveillance capabilitie,s so now we have it,” he said.
“Also, we can also use this for surveying devastated areas by typhoons, before and after, so that we can assess the damage,” he added.
Galang said the system worth P807 million was granted to the PAF under the Southeast Asia Maritime Security initiatives of the United States.
He said it aims “to increase the maritime domain awareness, airborne command and control, counter terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) capabilities” of the Philippine Air Force.
Galang said “SABIR system is a bolt-on, bolt-off avionics module for the C-130 Hercules aircraft which will serve as the main intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance system”.
“The installation of the SABIR system will upgrade the aircraft with advanced command and control, communications, computer, and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities without sacrificing it’s primary function as a cargo plane,” he said.
He also noted that the SABIR system will be operated by the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing of the Philippine Air Force. Robina Asido/DMS