Air Force prioritizes acquiring multi-role fighters

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is prioritizing the acquisition of 12 brand-new multi-role fighters (MRFs) under Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program Horizon 2.

Jane’s said in a report that a PAF senior official told them at the Asian Defence and Security (ADAS) 2018 that though PAF already has 12 FA-50PHs in its inventory, PAF needs more capable fighter platform as part of efforts to enhance territorial defense across the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Among the known contenders for PAF’s MRF acquisition program are SAAB with JAS 39 Gripen and Lockheed Martin with F-16. These two contenders were present at ADAS 2018.

National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed the offer from Lockheed Martin, however, he said they are still considering the offer.

“They offered it to us and we’re thinking about it. We told them we will consider, we will think more because this is very expensive. Expensive to buy, expensive to maintain,” Lorenzana told reporters at the sidelines of China’s 69th founding anniversary reception in Makati on September 27.