By Francis Wakefield
A military source today said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is looking to procure two squadrons of multirole fighters (MRF) and a frigate as part of the second horizon of the Revised AFP Modernization program.
The procurement plan was revealed after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Horizon 2 of the AFP Modernization Program last month. The cost of the of the entire second horizon is about P289 billion.
Horizon 2, it was recalled, is the transition to external defense from internal security operations.
According to the military source, they are looking to procure at least 12 MRF to beef up the air assets of the Philippine Air Force.
“Tig anim bawat squadron. Tapos tig anim bawat group, Tapos isang squadron, dose, so pwede na tayong kumuha ng isang squadron (There is six each per squadron. Then there is six per group, a squadron has 12, so we can get one squadron),” the source said.
A squadron (aviation) is a military unit that consists of three or four flights with a total of 12 to 24 aircraft, depending on the type of aircraft and the air force, naval or army air service.
The source said the list has already been approved but there is still no date when the MRF could be purchased.
“Approved na ‘(ni presidente) ‘yung list tapos dahil na-approve ‘yung list, pwede nang maghanda para makuha natin, (The list has already been approved and because it has already been approved, we can prepare in getting it),” the source said.
“Wala pa, wala pang aircraft. Walang specific platform. Inapprove yung program, yung pamimili ng platform dadaan yan sa proseso (There is still no aircraft. There is no specific platform. The program has been approved and buying the platform will go through a process),” he said.
The source reiterated that how fast they can get or buy the planes will depend on how quick their people will work.
“And we are working on it quickly,” he said.