Six 'Super Tucano' Attack Planes Delivered in February 2020: DND
(Source: Philippine News Agency; issued October 10, 2019)
MANILA --- All six brand-new light attack aircraft of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be delivered by February 2020, the Department of National Defense (DND) said Thursday.

This was bared by the DND Public Affairs Service when sought for an update on the possible delivery date of the Embraer Defense and Security A-29 "Super Tucano" close air support aircraft.

"All 'Super Tucano' units will be delivered by first quarter (of 2020) or by February," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong added.

The "Super Tucanos" are expected to beef up the remaining North American Rockwell OV-10 "Bronco" attack aircraft being used by the PAF in strike missions. The turboprop aircraft is designed for light attack, counter-insurgency, close air support, aerial reconnaissance missions in low threat environments, as well as providing pilot training.

Designed to operate in high temperature and humidity conditions in extremely rugged terrain, the "Super Tucano" is highly maneuverable, has a low heat signature and incorporates 4th generation avionics and weapons system to deliver precision-guided munitions.

The contract for the six "Super Tucano" was issued late 2017 and is worth PHP4.968 billion.

Funds will be sourced from the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund.

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PAF Looking for Parts Supplier of Attack Helicopters
(Source: Philippine News Agency; issued October 10, 2019)
MANILA --- The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is looking for suppliers capable of providing spare parts needed for the replacement and maintenance of the night targeting system (NTS) of its soon-to-arrive Bell AH-1S "Cobra" attack helicopters, of which two units were donated by the Jordanian government.

The PHP45.71 million budget is for the Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) for the Parts Replacement Program Phase 1 (PRP1) of the AH-IS Night Targeting System (NTS) of the Cobra Attack Helicopters, per the bid bulletin posted at the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System.

The pre-bid conference is slated on October 15 at 10 a.m. at the PAF Procurement Center Conference Room in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. The deadline for bid submission and the opening is on October 28 at 9:15 a.m. at the same venue.

"The Philippine Air Force reserves the right to reject any and all bids, declare a failure of bidding, or not award the contract at any time prior to contract award in accordance with Section 41 of RA 9184 and its IRR, without thereby incurring any liability to the affected bidder or bidders," said PAF Bids and Awards Committee chair, Brig. Gen. Carlo Bueno N. Buena, in the bid bulletin.

The two Jordanian-donated aircraft are expected to arrive next year as the pilots and crews selected to man the aircraft are still undergoing training.

The Bell AH-1 "Cobra" is a two-blade, single-engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It was developed using the engine, transmission and rotor system of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois.

A member of the prolific Huey family, the AH-1 is also referred to as the "Huey Cobra" or "Snake".

In September 2018, the Department of National Defense and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat, signed the MOU during the three-day official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Jordan in September of last year.

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PH Air Force to Get Two Command-And-Control Aircraft
(Source: Philippine News Agency; issued October 07, 2019)
MANILA --- The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is set to initially receive two command-and-control aircraft as part of the military's modernization program.

The first aircraft, an Airbus Defense & Space C-295 medium transport, would be delivered by the last quarter of this year, while the second, a Gulfstream 280 business jet, is expected by August 2020.

This was bared by the Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong when sought for updates on the military modernization program on Monday.

"As far as I know, the status of the procurement of the C-295 command-and-control aircraft and G-280 are already in the contract implementation phase. In fact, the C-295 is set to be delivered within the year and the G-280 will be delivered sometime next year, about August," Andolong said.

He said the contract for C-295 medium transport is worth PHP1.8 billion or around 28.8 million euros.

The C-295 is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter able to carry up to nine tons of payload or up to 71 personnel, at a maximum cruise speed of 260 knots.

Fitted with retractable landing gear and a pressurized cabin, it can cruise at altitudes up to 25,000 feet, while retaining remarkable short take-off and landing performance from unprepared short, soft and rough airstrips, as well as low-level flight characteristics.

The DND spokesperson said the C-295 is also suitable for its maritime patrol missions as well as for transporting supplies and troops, while the G-280 can serve as an airborne command post for senior leaders in times of crisis.

DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the notice to Proceed for the C-295 on October 16, 2018.

"(The G-280) flies faster than the C-295 and the G-280 will primarily serve as platform to carry our senior leaders and commanders in the event of example crisis situation. It can be used by the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Chief-of-Staff, the Secretary of National Defense, our Major Service Commanders and the President, although you want to use the term lightly or loosely, it is similar to an airborne command post, it would serve that purpose," Andolong said.

The G-280 is capable of speed around 500 knots and has a range of 3,600 nautical miles aside from having the capability to land on small runways and transporting 12 to 15 persons including the pilots and crew.

Andolong said the contract for the G-280 was signed in November last year and was acquired via US Foreign Military Sales. The cost of G-280 is around USD37 million.

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PH Marines Getting Familiar with New Amphibious Assault Vehicles
(Source: Philippine News Agency; issued October 11, 2019)
MANILA --- The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) is familiarizing itself with the newly acquired and state-of-the-art amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) that are now participating in military drills.

PMC spokesperson Capt. Felix Serapio made this remark when asked on why these AAVs, of which eight were acquired from South Korean defense manufacturer, Hanwha Systems, are present in the just concluded "DAGIT-PA" exercise last September and why the same vehicles are again participating in another amphibious exercise off Ternate, Cavite this October 12 as part of the ongoing "KAMANDAG" drills.

During the "DAGIT PA" exercise, four AAVs participated in ship-to-shore exercise off Subic Bay, Zambales.

"DAGIT-PA" short for "Dagat-Langit-Lupa" is a joint exercise with Air Force, Navy, and Army units and ran from September 16 to 27 while "KAMANDAG" ("Kaagapay ng mga Mandirigma ng Dagat") is scheduled from October 9 to 18 and consists of Marine units from the Philippines, United States, and Japan.

"Since the AAVs are new in our inventory, we are maximizing our opportunities to put them into action because we are applying our amphibious doctrines and integrating it with the newly-acquired technology," Serapio said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

The constant handling and training with these AAVs would also increase the proficiency of Marine and Navy units tasked to man these vehicles, he added.

"This will also enhance the proficiency of our Marines and the Navy as a whole. Our Marine Corps regularly conducts retraining activities - rotational to every battalion to refresh their skills," Serapio said.

The first four AAVs were delivered last May and activated during the 121st founding anniversary of the Philippine Navy on June 17 at Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite.

The second batch arrived in August and activated during short ceremonies at the PN headquarters in Naval Station Jose Andrada in Roxas Boulevard, Manila last September 23.

The AAV contract, worth PHP2.42 billion, are armed with .50-caliber machine guns, 40mm grenade launchers and smoke launchers and will be used for amphibious landing operations.

They are based aboard the two strategic sealift vessels -- the BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602).

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