PHL thankful to Japan for aircraft donation

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“We are very thankful for this first grant project of [Japan Ministry of Defense] following the amendment of Japan Government’s Self-Defense Force Act which allows the donation of excess defense and military equipment to partner countries such as ours,” National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said during the turn over ceremony of three Beechcraft King Air TC-90 aircraft donated by Japan to Philippine Navy.

These three aircraft are part of 5-aircraft donation pledged by the Japanese government. The first 2 aircraft arrived March 27, 2017.

These aircraft were offered by Japan after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized on February 29, 2016.

“The transfer of these TC90 aircraft was originally a lease contract but was changed into a grant pursuant to the letter of agreement we signed last November 2017 with the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD),” Secretary Lorenzana said.

“These aircraft will definitely boost the PN’s capability in providing humanitarian assistance and conducting disaster relief operations. Also, with its patrol range that is double compared to those of the existing Philippine aircraft which only has a maximum range of 300 kilometers, the maritime air surveillance and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance capability of PN will also be enhanced,” the defense chief added.

“On behalf of the One Defense Team, we are truly grateful to the government of Japan for its tremendous assistance in helping us improve our ability to carry out maritime security operations,” he said.

However, Secretary Lorenzana noted that much is still needed to be done to boost the Philippine military’s capability to face maritime security challenges.

“These challenges range from territorial disputes with China and other Southeast Asian nations over the ownership of resource-rich islands in the West Philippines Sea, to piracy, movement of armed insurgents in the Sulu sea, and other transnational crimes,” he said.