The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved and released a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) in connection with the Medium Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project (Phase 2) for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) under Horizon 2 of the current Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.
The said SARO amounts to PHP264,430,500.00, “to cover the funding requirements for the fifteen percent (15%) Advance Payment of the Medium Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project for the Philippine Air Force under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program,” DBM said.
MaxDefense Philippines said the SARO “appears to be only 1/3 of the projec’s total amount, which means it is only good for 1 aircraft rather than 3.”
“It remains to be seen though if the decision was to acquire only 1 aircraft instead of 3, or if funding for the 2 other aircraft will be taken from a different funding allocation,” MaxDefense added.
MaxDefense said that the project will be a negotiated procurement through government-to-government process. Among the possible platforms are Airbus’ C-295 aircraft and Indonesian Aerospace (PTDI)’s CN-235-220.
MaxDefense also noted that it believes “that Airbus-CASA may win this project, due to commonality issues with the existing C-295Ms in the PAF’s fleet, which is now 4-aircraft strong.”
PAF is already operating three medium lift aircraft, with C-295 aircraft from Airbus as platform, acquired during Horizon 1 of the AFP modernization.
PAF is also operating another C-295 aircraft acquired through the Command and Control Fixed-Wing Turbo Prop Acquisition Project.