Japan makes first delivery of radar unit to PH
MANILA, Philippines — Japan has delivered to the country the first unit of a long-range air surveillance radar system to be used by the Philippine Air Force.
It was part of the first major deal on military hardware that Japan had reached with another country since easing its self-imposed prohibition on arms exports.
The shipment was made last month while work is ongoing on the remaining units for future delivery, the Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Co. said in a statement on Thursday.
The company made the announcement on the eve of the arrival of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Manila for a two-day official visit.P5.5-billion order
“For Japan, the Philippines is a strategic partner sharing basic values, and to enhance cooperation in defense equipment and technology with the Philippines is important for ensuring peace and stability in Japan and the region,” Japan’s Ministry of Defense said in a separate statement.
In 2014, Tokyo lifted its arms export ban for the first time since its defeat in World War II. On the Philippine side, the Department of National Defense (DND) ordered three fixed and one mobile long-range air surveillance radars in 2020 for P5.5 billion under a government-to-government deal.
In an earlier statement, the DND said the upgrade was expected to help detect, identify, and correlate any threats and intrusions within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The first radar delivered in October was installed in a location facing the West Philippine Sea.
The country’s EEZ and the West Philippine Sea in general have been the site of recurring tensions between Philippine and Chinese coast guard vessels, leading to on-and-off diplomatic rifts between Manila and Beijing.