Philippines may buy fighters other than US


MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines is looking at arming itself for the first time with dedicated fighter jets made outside of the United States, President Benigno Aquino said Wednesday amid a territorial dispute with China.

The Philippines last month requested aircraft, patrol boats and radar systems from its US military ally to help it achieve what the government said would be a “minimum credible defense”.

Aquino said that his government had asked to buy second-hand F-16s from the United States, but their maintenance costs could end up being too high because of their age.

“We might end up spending $400 million or $800 million per squadron, and we were thinking of getting two squadrons,” he said in an interview with Manila’s Bombo Radio.

“We do have an alternative, and — this is a surprise — it seems we have the capacity to buy brand-new, but not from America,” Aquino said, without mentioning the aircraft model.

“These are manufactured by another progressive country that I won’t name at this point.”

Aquino noted that Manila had retired its last fighter jet, a Korean War-vintage F-5, in 2005. It does continue to fly S211 trainer jets made by the Italian firm Marchetti, which are sometimes used as ground attack aircraft against various insurgencies.

But along with the F-5, the Philippines had previously relied on obsolete US hand-me-downs including the T-33 and the P-51 Mustang as dedicated attack fighters, and the country now has no effective air defenses.

It is engaged in a tense maritime standoff with China over the disputed Scarborough Shoal and surrounding waters in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Both nations have stationed vessels there for over a month to assert their sovereignty.

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  • Wake_Me_up

    During the “Operation Desert Storm” Russian made planes were no match against their American counterpart.

    I still prefer the F15-Eagle or F16-Fighting Falcon since China’s aircraft were mostly Russian made.  Their new fighters like Shenyang J-11 were a copycat from Soviet’s Su-27.  While Chengdu J-10 believed to be an imitation of Israel’s Lavi.

    Just seen this news and I think PH will get brand new planes from South Korea – KAI T-50 Golden Eagle. 

    “The Philippines is looking for six light attack jets to replace its retired F-5A Freedom Fighters, as the TA-50 is one of the contenders along with M-346″

    I think it is between Korea’s TA-50 and Italy’s M-346, in case they will continue to choose from the two which of these fighters better suit the country’s need? By the way both are considered as Advanced Trainer Jets.

  • Eagle from Davao

    I propose Gripen Saab . There are two options to acquire this.One similar with the poland lend-lease agreement with provision to own,poland able acquire this fighters this way.The other one is to buy them brand-new.Gripen ‘s price is close to any russian fighters but the capability is as good as F-16.
    This one of the three fighters that have super-cruise capability,the other are F-22 and F-35.It can reach mach 1 without using afterburner.This is combat proven  and very nimble and manueverable.It can take-off with a 800 meters runway and carry nearly 5 tons  weapons. Aside from that ,it can carry RSB-15 mrk III anti-ship missile. This missile is the reason why soviet ships donot challenge swedish navy during cold war. It has more than 230 km range and sea-skimming and very low radar signature with multiple waypoints and re-programmable even while in flight.

    Actually thailand already acquire this fighters and they are very satisfied and ask for upgrades and buying RSB-15. mark III for anti-ship strike capability.

    F-16 and F-18 are very good fighters and combat -proven but very expensive to acquire and to maintain.

    Aside from that,we must buy a mix weapons platform instead of one. In two squadron,include one E-2 hawkeye as eyes and ears for the whole squadron.Instead of two squaron of one type,buy also one C-130 as a air-refueler,this is a force multiplier.And also include two maritime long -range patrol plane with anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilties such as ALT3 or C-295. also buy at-least two or three UAV heron for continous sea patrol without putting strain to air-strike package.

  • Nagagalitna

    For time being I think Korean made TA-50 or Aermacchi M-346, tipid na capable din sya to strike.

    If the gov’t has a 1B USD at least we can have more numbers of these birds to protect our teritory.
    Yong super bird na mga gusto ng mga Bro natin I’m sure maabot natin yan…pero wag bigla para di tayo mabulonan…slowly but surely ba.

    Ako gusto ko din meron tayo eh Grippen or Dassualt eh kasi they are very good bird but syempre need ng Pinas mag control ng budget eh kasi di lahat pwde iubos natin sa military. Marami din tayo problema sa bansa pa.

  • Tonyo

    tapos e testing natin e gyera sa milf at abu syaf sa mindanao ang bagong biling mga fighters.

  • aso

    Fighter planes will cost $800 million… Magkano naman ang ibubulsa ng mga hinayupak sa Gobyerno?.. 40% equals to $320 million. Bigay nyo share ko. Pambili ko ng sarangola ni Pnoy! Bocaboca.. Lol

  • IanAlera


    BOYCOTT CHINA MADE PRODUCTS.  Buy local.  Support local industries.

  • lionking66

    Follow-up to Eagle from Davao and Asusina –

    Salute u guys for your valuable and relevant insights about Scarborough and Spratlys! The viable defense in a littoral setting is a combined air and naval strategy. One should not be without the other. Lessons learned from the Battle of the Falklands dictate that air and sea assets complement each other. One distinct advantage that we do have and continue to have is proximity to the area. Notwithstanding the chinese airfield at Woody Isl. in the Paracels, we are still nearer the area in terms of turn-around time i.e. take-off, loiter time, return, refuel and rearm.

    The JAS Gripen was offered to Croatia on a very concessional rate with lots of sweeteners to include 2 Goteborg corvettes for free! The corvettes have 3D capabilities- sub surface, anti air and surface. Sweden and Norway were the NATO frontliners on the north western flank of Europe against Soviet incursions in that area. Their 57+meters corvettes could survive the harsh North Sea conditions to stay on their patrol areas. Their jet fighters(F16 and JAS Gripen) carry anti-ship missiles. The Corvettes and the Gripen are still available, the deal did not push thru.

    Don’t be afraid of Chinese submarines. Another name of the Spratlys in all nautical charts is Dangerous Grounds! It is NOT, repeat NOT suitable for submarine operations. In the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the US submarines USS DARTER and DACE learned later when the Darter ran aground.

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