Makers of JAS 39 Gripen, F-16 intensify promotions in Philippines

Sweden-based Saab and United States-based Lockheed Martin have reportedly intensified their efforts in promoting JAS-39C/D Gripen and F-16C/D Block 70/72 Viper, respectively, in the Philippines.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is positioned to get multi-role fighter (MRF) jets under the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program.

According to MaxDefense Philippines, both Saab and Lockheed Martin were present during the re-opening of Basa Air Base and the 2018 Balik Basa activities.

MaxDefense added that both have long term displays in Base Air Base to remind all Air Defense Command personnel of their products.

“Apparently Saab has been giving away keychains around the SM Mall of Asia grounds yesterday, while Lockheed Martin and USAF personnel have been going around PAF units and officials these past days. Both Saab and LM are also giving away goodies like T-Shirts and keychains to Air Defense Command personnel,” MaxDefense said.

“For a Php61++ billion project, the most expensive the AFP is undertaking in it’s entire history, giveaways and strong marketing are just loose change,” MaxDefense noted.

In a post in its social networking page, Pinoy Aviators said that PAF Technical Working Group (PAF/TWG) visited a Royal Thai Air Force base at Surat Thani in Thailand that operates a squadron of fighter aircraft including the Jas39 C/D Gripen.

Saab and Lockheed Martin were also present during the ADAS 2018 held September.

Moreover, United States government through US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in August officially offered Lockheed Martin F-16 multi-role fighter platform to the Philippines in letter sent to President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We know however that our nations can do even more to integrate our economic and security concerns, especially we hope to partner in other significant defense procurement of our mutual benefit including through the Lockheed Martin F-16 multi-role fighter platform and your attack helicopter platform among other US systems,” Ross, Mattis, and Pompeo said in letter to Duterte.