With the Philippines having massive maritime domains, the Philippine Navy (PN) needs to further develop its maritime surveillance capability to fully secure its territorial waters.
This was emphasized by PN flag-officer-in-command Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad during the turn-over ceremony of the three Beechcraft King Air TC-90 aircraft donated by the Japanese government on Monday.
“One of the major components of the Active Archipelagic Defense Strategy (AADS) of the PN, is maritime domain awareness, due primarily to the vastness of our territorial waters and our exclusive economic zone that has a total area of 586,210 square miles bigger than most nations of the world in the world. Having said that, the PN needs to strengthen its maritime surveillance capability to increase the coverage of our massive maritime waters,” Empedrad said.
The Navy chief also stressed that the TC-90 aircraft will greatly boost the Navy’s air capability.
“The TC-90 is far more superior than our current inventories in terms of speed, range, loiter time capability, superior search, tracking, imaging and identification; larger capacity for medical evacuation, other utility missions; and can participate in maritime exercises and other engagements internationally,” Empedrad said.
The first two TC-90s were delivered to the Philippines last March 27, 2017. The aircraft has a range of over 1,000 nautical miles, and a cruising speed of 226 knots and capable of carrying eight passengers along with the pilots.
At present, the Navy is operating around six Norman Britten “Islander” patrol aircraft, five AgustaWestland helicopters and one Robinson R-22 training helicopter. PNA