The Philippine Navy (PN) will formally receive three more Beechcraft King Air TC-90 patrol airplanes from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) on March 26.
The turnover ceremony will take place at the Naval Air Group, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City, Navy spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said in a message Thursday.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will be the event’s guest-of-honor and speaker. He will be joined by Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda and other delegates of the JMSDF and Japan Ministry of Defense.
The first two TC-90s were delivered to the Philippines last March 27, 2017. With the arrival of the three airplanes, the number of Philippine-operated TC-90s will climb to five.
Last January 31, one of the first two delivered planes, with tail number 390, conducted its first maritime air patrol mission off Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, Zambales.
The TC-90 has a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles, and a cruising speed of 260 knots, and is capable of carrying eight passengers along with the pilots.
As of this time, the Navy is operating six Norman Britten “Islander” patrol aircraft, four GAF “Nomad” airplanes, five AgustaWestland naval helicopters, and one Robinson R-22 training helicopter.
The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized on Feb. 29, 2016. PNA