PHL C-130 upgraded for maritime patrols

A C-130 of Philippine Air Force (PAF) is now capable of conducting maritime patrols after getting an upgrade provided by the United States government.

The turn over of Special Airborne Mission Installation and Response (SABIR) system, installed on PAF C-130 aircraft, was held August 14 attended by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim and National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.

“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 Ambassador Kim during the ceremony.

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.

The US Embassy said the upgraded aircraft will be operated by PAF’s 300 Air Intelligence and Security Wing (300 AISW) out of Benito Ebuen Air Base, Mactan.

“The 300 AISW provides the PAF with near-real time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities through both manned and unmanned aircraft, including the SABIR system, Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial System, and the C-208 aircraft, all donated by the United States government over the past year,” it added.

“The 300 AISW was upgraded from a Group to a Wing in February 2018 to support the growing requirements of new platforms and equipment arriving from U.S. grant-funded programs like the MSI,” the US Embassy noted.