PHL Air Force getting more C-130s, eyes dedicated ISR C-130 aircraft

The Philippine government is eyeing to acquire more C-130 military transport aircraft for Philippine Air Force (PAF) and plans to have a C-130 aircraft dedicated for surveillance missions.

“We are acquiring several more C130s and it is our wish that we could have one C130 dedicated for this purpose only (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance or ISR). Iyun bang hindi gagamitin sa iba just for ISR,” National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenza said.

Currently, PAF is operating five C130s. Two latest additions were provided by the United States government.

The defense chief made the statement after US transferred Special Airborne Mission Installation and Response (SABIR) system, installed on PAF C-130 aircraft.

“The transfer of the SABIR system today, along with the Scan Eagle system this past March, and the C-208 aircraft in August 2017, represents our steadfast commitment to enhancing the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim.

The SABIR, a bolt-on avionics module, upgrades the aircraft with advanced command and control, communications, computer, and surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities without sacrificing the aircraft’s primary function as a cargo plane.