Marcos: Acquisition of modern air assets to boost PH defense systems
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday expressed confidence that the acquisition of modern aircraft by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will ultimately improve the country’s defense systems.
“While these equipment will boost the readiness of our Air Force to respond to any contingency, there is still a need to further improve our capabilities to effectively cover our territory. Equally important is to ensure the airworthiness of Air Force assets and the corresponding training of crew and personnel to guarantee the safety of all,” the President said during the flight capability demonstration of the FA-50PH fighter jets and acceptance, turn-over and blessing ceremony of the C295 Medium Lift Aircraft at the Clark Airbase in Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
“Hence, it is this administration’s will to remain steadfast in pursuing our modernization efforts,” the Commander-in-Chief added.
Marcos also lauded and recognized the efforts of the PAF in implementing Republic Act 10349 or the Revised AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Modernization Program, citing the acquisition of three C295 Medium Lift Aircraft which started in 2022.
“This attests to the progress of our nation in upgrading our defense capabilities,” Marcos said.
Manufactured by the Airbus Defence and Space, the twin-turboprop transport aircraft is the newest generation of tactical airlifter in the light and medium segment that can be used for various missions such as medical evacuation, paradrop/airdrop, civic and humanitarian airlift mission, among others.
Marcos likewise thanked the government of Spain for assisting the PAF in bolstering the Philippines' defense posture.
Marcos pointed out that the country's archipelagic nature and geostrategic location has been “both a blessing and a challenge” as it requires the government to “constantly adapt to become more mobile and agile.”
“To this end, our FA-50PH Fighter Jets shall improve our maritime patrol capability, aid our Air Force in monitoring the developments within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone and provide close air support to our combat troops,” the President said as he noted that the country is also faced with climate-related hazards, like typhoons and earthquakes.
Through the additional C295 aircraft, the AFP will be able to provide more responsive support to government agencies, especially in emergency situations and on humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations, President Marcos said. Presidential News Desk