PH, Sweden sign MOU for defense materiel cooperation
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and Sweden have signed an agreement that could pave the way for Stockholm to secure a major deal to supply multirole fighter aircraft for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Acting Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense materiel cooperation on Saturday on the sidelines of Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
“The agreement opens up opportunities for Swedish defense industries to participate in the Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization program as well as for possible joint initiatives in support of the Philippines’ thrust to achieve a self-reliant defense posture,” the Department of National Defense said in a statement.
Stockholm has been offering Saab Jas-39 Gripen for the PAF’s multi-role fighter acquisition project.
Last month, Galvez met with Swedish Trade Minister Johan Forssell in Manila to finalize discussions on the MOU and tackle other aspects of bilateral relations between the two countries.
The signing took place a few days after PAF chief Lt. Gen. Stephen Parreño led a small delegation to Sweden from May 24 to May 28, where they engaged with the Swedish Air Force and toured the Saab facility to see the JAS-39 and Saab 340 airborne early warning and control aircraft.
The PAF has long wanted to acquire multirole fighters for deterrence.
Aside from the Saab Jas-39 Gripen, the PAF has been considering the F-16 Viper, built by US defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin, for its future fighter jets.
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