DND reiterates it will "consider any and all offers" to supply military equipment
The Department of National Defense (DND) reiterates that all offers to supply military equipment for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be considered amid a recent announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte that the United States is offering F16s for the Philippine Air Force.
“In all of our acquisition the DND and AFP will consider any and all offers, because we not siding with any country,” said DND spokesman Arsenio Andolong in a phone interview with Daily Manila Shimbun Friday evening.
“Under the law and our procurement process we are willing to consider any and all offer, even if it comes from Russia, from France, US, South Korea any other country,” he added.
In his speech in Davao City last Thursday, Duterte revealed that the United States was offering military equipment. including its F16 fighters, to the Philippines.
However a news report said Duterte will not talk to United States officials about the modernization of the AFP unless the Balangiga bells that were seized by the US Army in 1901 were returned to the Philippines.
Andolong said the Philippines is still studying the final technical specification of the aircraft that will be acquired under the Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) Aircraft Acquisition Project for the Philippine Air Force.
“Not necessarily the F16. It’s under the multi role fighter acquisition project but everything is still under study,” he said.
“The PAF only submitted the operational concept, but up to the actual technical specification it is still being studied,” he said.
“The PAF is already conducting market research… after we got our last FA50 the next is MRF but the specific platform is not yet determined,” he added.
Andolong mentioned that the Philippine Air Force was studying the Gripen fighter jet of Sweden.
“Before they were studying the Gripen ( jet0 of Sweden, because that is the most advanced fighter in the world,, other than the F23 of US and the Sukhoi of Russia,” he said.
He added that South Korea is about to produce their Multi-Role Fighter aircraft.
Like the submarine acquisition project for the Philippine Navy, the procurement of MRF for the Philippine Air Force is also part of the second horizon of the AFP modernization program which is expected to run from 2018 up to 2022. Robina Asido/DMS