Lorenzana says Gulfstream G280 is not ''luxury aircraft''
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana defends the acquisition of American-made Gulfstream G280 aircraft for the Philippine Air Force.
“Let me emphasize that we do not consider the G280 as a luxury aircraft, but a necessary component of the AFP modernization program for command and control of our Armed Forces to manage operations on air, land, and sea,” Lorenzana said in a statement issued on Friday.
“This particular aircraft is being acquired for the purpose of keeping pace with current technological advancement. This type of aircraft is necessary for a 24/7 real-time command and control, especially during crisis situation,” the defense secretary said.
The Gulfstream G280 acquisition is part of our efforts to modernize the Armed Forces of the Philippines, he said.
''It will be operated in consonance with other command and control platforms that we currently have, and those we plan to acquire in the future,” Lorenzana added.
Lorenzana said the aircraft can “also be used for mercy flights to ferry wounded soldiers and critically ill civilians that need to be quickly transported to hospitals.”
Lorenzana said the aircraft is not intended to be a presidential plane but he also noted that aside from military use this may be used to transport VIP’s like the president, cabinet secretaries and other high government officials.
“The President has stated from the beginning that he does not want the procurement of an executive jet for his own use. This aircraft was not intended to be a Presidential plane but as a Command and Control plane of the AFP and the DND. The justification of its procurement says so: 'For Command and Control,' which was approved by the DND/AFP Senior Leaders last year specially for the purpose stated,” he said.
“Other cabinet Secretaries and high government officials in their official trips around the country could also use it. This plane will also facilitate the country’s diplomatic and humanitarian efforts with its ASEAN neighbors,” said Lorenzana.
“Will the President be using it? As the Commander-in-Chief all assets of the AFP are at his disposal when he needs them,” he said.
Lorenzana said ''the acquisition of the Gulfstream aircraft is not a frivolous pursuit, but rather a result of careful planning with due consideration to the needs of our Armed Forces.” Robina Asido/DMS