|The KAI FA-50 was selected as the PAF's new SAA/LIFT aircraft.|
Aside from the SAA/LIFT acquisition, also for signing tomorrow will be for the purchase of 8 Bell 412 helicopters for the combat utility helicopter (CUH) and VIP transport requirements from the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC). Both projects were procured via government-to-government (G2G) deals.
|The initial 8 new Bell 412 helicopters are also coming in for the PAF, reportedly as combat utility helicopters to take the place of the W-3A Sokol and eventually replace the UH-1H Huey.|
Representing the Philippine government is AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista. Aside from the representatives of CCC and KAI, the Ambassadors of South Korea and Canada will witness the historic contract signing together with the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) president and other government and defense officials.
The FA-50 was chosen as the PAF's "stepping stone" and interim fighter while awaiting for the government to acquire multi-role fighters for them. Candidate FA-50 pilots and ground crew will be trained in South Korea as part of the deal, which in turn will become FA-50 instructors themselves for future cadre pilots. While churning in pilots ready for further training to handle MRFs, the FA-50 will also be used as an interim fighter for air policing and patrol duties over the Philippine Air Defense Identification Zone (PADIZ) and EEZ.
|The FA-50 will bring-in a new generation of fighter-ready pilots for the PAF.|
Photo taken from Korean Aero website.
Meanwhile, the Bell 412 was originally the PAF's choice for the CUH requirement until the W-3A was chosen by the DND after winning the tender for the CUH acquisition project after a number of attempts. With the W-3A Sokol decided to better serve the PAF as a Search and Rescue (SAR) asset, the PAF went for another attempt to acquire new CUH, this time through government-to-government dealings with CCC for the Bell 412.
|PAF's Bell 412 CUH might have close resemblance to Canada's CH-146 Griffon, which saw service with Canadian armed forces assisting in relief efforts after Typhoon Yolanda.|
Aside from these air assets, the Philippine Navy is set to receive 3 oil tankers as a donation from the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC). A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed yesterday, March 26, 2014 to formalize the donation. These ships were previously assets of the now defunct PNOC Shipping and Transport Corporation (PSTC), a wholly owned subsidiary of PNOC. Although no news yet on which ships will be acquired, PSTC oil tanker assets are mostly below 3,000 gross metric tons in displacement. Although small, these ships are assets that would boost the PN's capabilities in terms of resupply and underway replenishment.
More details will be discussed in succeeding MaxDefense blog entries in the coming days. In the meantime, let us celebrate the upcoming contract signing marking the official purchase of the 2 aircraft platforms for the PAF.
March 28, 2013:
Finally, contract signed for 12 KAI FA-50 lead-in fighter trainers, and 8 Bell Textron 412 combat utility and VIP helicopters.
|Photo from KAI's Facebook page.|
|KAI has officially counted the PAF's FA-50 orders. Illustration above shows expected T-50 series possible sales projected by KAI.|
Photo taken from KAI's Facebook page.
|Photo taken from AFP.|
June 27, 2015:
Headway for both the Oil Tanker for the Philippine Navy, and the FA-50 and Bell 412EP acquisitions for the Philippine Air Force.
The Philippine Navy commissioned the first of the 3 tankers it received from the Philippine National Oil Company' Shipping and Transport Corp., last May 23, 2015. The ship, formerly the MT PNOC Lapu-Lapu, is now known as the BRP Lake Caliraya (AF-81) of the Philippine Navy. The two other ships acquired by the PN are still scheduled to complete their refurbishing and repair works, before they can be commissioned and join the PN. It is expected that at least one of the ships will be commissioned within 2015.
|The BRP Lake Caliraya during its day of commissioning with the PN last May 23, 2015.|
Photo taken from the Philippine Navy website.
For the Philippine Air Force, KAI announced through its official Facebook page that they have successfully completed the first flight of the first FA-50PH bound for the PAF. A total of 12 were ordered, and the PAF expects the first 2 mission-ready FA-50PH to be delivered by either December 2015 or January 2016.
Also, the first 2 Bell 412EP for the PAF were delivered on the last week of May 2015, and another batch of 2 units were delivered on the last week of June 2015. All 4 were assembled locally in Manila. The first 2 sports the colors of the Presidential Airlift Wing, while the second 2 were in olive drab similar to the UH-1 helicopters of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.
According to MaxDefense sources and contributors, the PAW units are being tested in Clark Air Base, while the 205th THW birds have just completed assembly and are scheduled to ground and flight testing very soon. All 12 units are expected to be delivered by next year, although the pace of Bell in its delivery suggests that they could complete delivery of all 8 units before the year ends.