By ELENA L. ABEN
Manila, Philippines – As the military builds up its air defense capabilities, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is acquiring three radars with a project cost of about P2.3 billion, said PAF vice commander Major General Raul Dimatatac.
Interviewed at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City, Dimatatac told reporters, “We are looking at installing three radars for our three major sites.“
The radars, he said, are among those listed in the PAF’s wish list in the P75-billion military modernization budget in the next five years.
“Although we were given by the government P75 billion for the next five years . . . we have a lot of concerns insofar as security is concerned so we really have to prioritize,“ said Dimatatac.
He added that for the Air Force, among the items lined up for acquisition aside from the radar system are surface attack aircraft (SAA), light lift and long range patrol aircraft, and additional UH1H helicopters.
The PAF vice commander has earlier expressed pleasure over the activation of the third three C-130 Lockheed Hercules cargo plane in the PAF inventory.
The military recommissioned on Friday some of its air and ground assets that underwent major refurbishment, with all the work done locally.
Among the recommissioned assets aside from the C-130 were a Cessna 210, the PAF’s platform for rainmaking, one UH1H combat utility helicopter, and 12 M-35 trucks.
“This is definitely a big improvement to the PAF’s airlift capability, considering that for the past years, we only one C130 aircraft in service,“ said Dimatatac.
He added the three C-130 cargo planes will allow the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to support the government in its various development and relief missions.
Aside from improving the PAF’s cargo lift capability, Dimatatac said that the three aircraft has definitely boosted the morale of their aircrew as they now know that they have a sufficient number of planes to perform their missions.
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