Your 1st for Philippine Defense

Austal leads Philippine Navy's OPV Acquisition Project!

SecDef Lorenzana confirms Austal is still the preferred OPV supplier for the PN

The Philippine Navy commissions its 2nd Jose Rizal-class frigate!

The Philippine Navy welcomes BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), its newest frigate!

The Philippine Navy selects Shaldag Mk. V for Fast Attack Interdiction Craft!

The DND has awarded the FAIC-M Acquisition Project to Israel Shipyards

The Philippine Air Force wants more Black Hawk helicopters!

The Philippine Air Force asks for more Black Hawks to allow the retirement of their Bell UH-1 Huey fleet

The Philippine Army orders the Sabrah Light Tank System from Israel!

Israel's Elbit Systems was declared the winner to supply light tanks to the PA

The Philippine Air Force receives full order of Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 UAVs!

All 9 Hermes 900 and 4 Hermes 450 MALE UAVs have been received by the PAF!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Importance of ASW Helicopters for the Philippine Navy...Why Block their Acquisition?

The DND finally announced to the public their intention to acquire 2 anti-submarine helicopters, as discussed in several MaxDefense entries. Although the media reports point to AgustaWestland's AW159 Wildcat, it is still actually too early to speculate which exact model will be acquired. According to MaxDefense sources, there is no specific choice yet, although the Wildcat and the Seahawk are likely frontrunners.

A link to one of the local news reports can be accessed HERE.

The invitation to bid for 2 ASW helicopters has recently been released, amd will be conducted as a 2-stage process. This is similar to the bidding procedure of the PN's 2 new frigates. ABC remains the same as discussed in previous MaxDefense blog, at Php 5.4 billion for both helicopters, including Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) package and training for air and ground crew. Deadline of submission of bids will be this coming April 24, 2014.

Why do we need to acquire Anti-Submarine Helicopters anyway?

A US Navy MH-60R with dipping sonar during one of it's sorties.
Photo taken from

These helicopters are specialized in supporting naval vessels in detecting, tracking, and destroying hostile submarines and surface ships that enters our territory or threaten our sea assets and national security as a whole. The helicopters work hand-in-hand with the underwater detection systems of naval vessels and other aircraft like Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The speed and range of the helicopter increases the ship's detection and weapon launching radius. If properly coordinated, the pairing of these assets increases the detection probability, ability to defend the ship from torpedo attacks, and speeds up neutralizing the submarine threat. This is possible as the helicopter and naval vessel can share information via data link, with detection capability provided by the helicopter's onboard dipping sonar system, and other detection systems like sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detection systems. This in turn gives a better situation awareness to the navy, and allows them to destroy the submarine threat if necessary.

To improve on this capability, the Philippine Navy is in the process of procuring of 2 new frigates with ASW capability, and this is where the 2 ASW helicopters will be attached. Other ships of the PN are planned for upgrades to include submarine detection capability, while the Philippine Air Force is on its way to procure Maritime Patrol Aircraft which can also do ASW duties.

Aside from ASW helicopters, MPA can also assist in doing ASW duties.  The PAF is on its way to procure at least 2 MPA that may have submarine detection capabilties.
Photo taken from .

ASW helicopters don't work alone.  The misconception of many is that the ASW helicopter does the work for the frigate, which is incorrect. A better explanation of how ASW helicopters work can be seen in a video from the Singapore Armed Forces:

MaxDefense confirms that there are indeed reports that Chinese and other country's submarines are operating within our archipelagic waters, and that itself is a very strong reason why the PN is beefing up its ASW capability after losing its place as one of the best ASW navies in South East Asia from the 1960s until the late 1970s. 

To those in doubt, a photo of RPS Negros Occidental firing anti-submarine torpedoes during RP-US ASW Exercise "Dolphin I" can be seen in Gorio B's Flickr account HERE, as a proof that the PN did have ASW capabilities before.

So Why Block It's Acquisition?

Immediately after the announcement, the project was being brought into the limelight by Isabela congressman Rodolfo Albano III, which was reported by local media HERE. Although his alternative platforms for immediate acquisition are understandable (more C-130s and helicopters for HADR operations, his reason for not acquiring these helicopters and blocking the acquisition of the FA-50 jets are not. His reasons are too shallow and seeMaxDefense sees this as a problem that needs to be taken a deeper look by the government.

As explained in earlier replies to comments regarding this issue, MaxDefense believes that there could be reasons why Cong. Albano is doing this, either:
  • He is misinformed and stupid enough to make such comments without further research; 
  • He wants to get media mileage for blocking the acquisition, to make him look good to the public or to boost his and his family's image to the voting public;
  • He supports other government projects that can be funded well if the AFP Modernization Program is blocked or diverted to other projects;
  • He sees the modernization of the AFP as a threat to his interests;
  • He is a Chinese lapdog, and is among a few possible people that can be in the payrolls of the Chinese government.
If his reason to block these purchases is the first reason, this can still be corrected by DND lobbying and information drive to inform the congressman and his team. Strong and consistent lobbying by the DND to Congress and Senate can be made to inform them properly of their plans, reasons, and decisions. In return these politicos can understand the concept of the defense procurement and planning and may support the DNF and AFP in getting what they need They also need to know the implications of not having these capabilities. This is currently a weak point of the DND that needs to be given more effort.

Frigates with ASW capabilities are being procured by the PN. ASW helicopters increases their capability two-fold, and make their purchase relevant. Why block this project?

But this is not the first time the congressman and other lawmakers made similar efforts to block AFP projects to modernize its capability by relating it to arms race against China. If the Americans can arrest a erring senator because of national security threats to the Philippines aside from illegal activities, there is more reason for the Philippine government to do the same to safeguard its defense and interests in national security. Who knows what we can find in these lawmaker's closets - criminal and illegal activity? Sabotage? Plunder? Treason? We don't know and we won't know unless the government investigates. 

Defense goes hand-in-hand with development. Other countries have the same concept, and does not leave their defense capability vulnerable. The Philippines' closest southern neighbor, Malaysia, has a fleet of AgustaWestland Super Lynx 300 ASW helicopters in its arsenal.

It must be remembered by everyone that the country's constitution states that the Filipino people has an obligation to defend the country and keep its sovereignty for whatever the cost, and this can only be done by having the right tools to do the job. The government must investigate these people and their actions and words be taken seriously. MaxDefense believes that there might be more to their usual reason of diverting the AFP modernization funds to development projects, only stupid people can be made to believe on that.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Acquisition of FA-50 SAA/LIFT and Bell 412 CUH for PAF, 3 Oil Tankers for the PN

Finally, the impending contract signing for the purchase of 12 FA-50 Fighting Eagles from Korea Aerospace Industry (KAI) to fulfill the Surface Attack Aircraft/Lead-in Fighter Trainer (SAA/LIFT) requirement is becoming a reality. Contract signing is scheduled tomorrow, March 28, 2014, 3:00pm at Tejeros Hall, AFP Commissioned Officer's Club, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. 

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.

The PNOC Emilio Jacinto (top) and PNOC Lapu-Lapu (below) are just among the oil tanker assets of the PSTC. No confirmation yet on which oil tankers are to be turned-over to the PN.
Photos taken from Feehily04's Flicker page (top) and MarineTraffic website (below)

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. 

One of the first 2 Bell 412EP delivered last May 2015, sporting the colors of the Presidential Airlift Wing in anticipation of VIP transport requirements for the APEC Summit 2015 in November.
Photo from Shuuichi Hikoushi of the Philippine Planespotters Group.

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.

One of the second batch Bell 412EP delivered on June 2015, taken at the NAIA grounds on June 27 by a MaxDefense reader who wants to remain anonymous. Based on its color scheme, it appears to be one of the combat utilty helicopter variants bound to fly with the PAF's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

AFP Increases Orders for New M4 Rifles to 63,000 units

Related to an earlier blog entry by MaxDefense (see "3 Projects to Modernize the Assault Rifle needs of the AFP" dated December 18, 2013) regarding new rifles for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, it appears that the Department of National Defense (DND) has increased its order for new M4 rifles from American arms manufacturer Remington Arms Company. Initial reports from last year indicated that the order is only for 50,629 units worth Php 1,944,261,591.66, or around Php 38,402 per rifle (by average, without considering other parts of the contract). But during the announcement made by President Noynoy Aquino during the graduation rites of cadets from the Philippine Military Academy batch 2014, the numbers were raised to 63,000 units worth at around Php 2.4 billion

The AFP continues to use the venerable M16A1 series rifles, which first saw action in the Vietnam War. The photo above shows Marines from the US and Philippines during Balikatan 2009 Exercises, with USMC using M16A4 while the PMC still uses the old M16A1.
Photo taken from USMC website c/o Wikimedia.

By simple math, Php 2.4 billion for 63,000 rifles means that the average unit price might still stand as the original signed contract price, thus it may be possible that the DND used its option to increase the order. 

The Philippine Army's Special Operations Command (SOCOM) uses the M4, although regular army units still uses the longer and old M16A1. The introduction of the Remington R4 starting this year will change that.

Following the president's announcements, Remington may start delivery of the 1st batch of rifles within the next few months, which was per original contract. This will enable the military to start the massive repair and refurbishing of old M16 rifles, using the services of the Government Arsenal (GA) without affecting the availability of rifles for each serviceman. A more elaborate explanation on the GA M16 refurbishing works can be found in the earlier MaxDefense blog (see 1st paragraph).

The Remington R4, their version of the M4 carbine.
Photo taken from Remington Arms Company website.

The increase in contract for more Remington rifles doesn't necessarily mean as a loss to the Government Arsenal (GA), which has an ongoing rifle production project based on the M16/M4 family. The GA, which is looking for a partner for the rifle production in its facility in Limay, Bataan, may consider Remington's offer as its position is now stronger as opposed to its other major arms manufacturer competitors like Colt. This may allow GA to manufacture the R4 (designation of Remington's M4-based rifle) under license provided by Remington Arms Company, and provide the manufacturing technology, technical know-how, and skills to GA.

Modernizing the army always starts with modernizing the infantryman, and what better way to start this by giving them a dependable rifle they can use to do their job. 

July 17, 2014:
speech of Pres. Benigno Aquino III during the opening of Asian Defense and Security (ADAS) Exhibition 2014 confirmed that aside from the initial order of 50,629 units of Remington R4 carbine ordered by the Army, it has added another 12,657 units using some of the budget saved from the tender. This brings the total order to 63,286 units. This further confirms the information provided in this blog, due to conflicts with other media reports that only 50,000+ units are expected by the PA.

August 14, 2014:
President Noynoy Aquino presided the hand-over ceremonies for the 1st batch from a total of 50,629 units of Remington R4A3 (M4) carbines to the Philippine Army and Philippine Navy (Marine Corps), during a ceremony this morning. Speeches made during the event confirmed the additional order of more than 12,000 rifles using parts of the savings the AFP incurred for the bidding of the said rifles. 

Above is a video from RTV Malacanang of the said event. 


Monday, March 17, 2014

Re-tender of 155mm Towed Howitzer and Ammo Acquisition for PA and PMC

The Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND) has subjected the 155mm Towed Howitzer with Ammunition acquisition program to a re-bid, after the initial attempt failed. The bid invitation is available at DND's BAC website. The projects Approved Budget for the Contract (ABC) still stands at Php 438,620,000.00 for 12 units of 155mm towed howitzer, 240 rounds of 155mm high explosive ammunition, and integrated logistics support package. Pre-bid conference  was scheduled last March 11, 2014, while the bid submission is scheduled on March 25, 2014.

The DND released another Invitation to Bid for the 155mm Towed Howitzer with Ammunition acquisition project in February 2014. ABC still remains, as well as the number of units for acquisition.

Previous reports indicated that Israel-based company Elbit Systems Land and C4I was the front-runner of the first tender, but their bid was ultimately rejected after DND found its submitted documents incomplete and non-complying. Elbit Systems is the owner of Soltam Systems, a company specializing in manufacturing howitzer systems including the Philippine Army's M-71 howitzers. Another reported bidder was Stone of David, also known as Joavi Philippines, which was involved in several major tenders for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the last several years. Stone of David was said to offer a Serbian or Bosnian-made howitzer based on the Yugoslavian version of the Soviet M46 howitzer using 155mm caliber instead of the original 130mm, probably produced by the same company that made the Philippine Army's new 81mm M69B mortars (which Stone of David supplied as well).

Hyundai WIA's KH179 (above) may not be offered again due to cost considerations, although MaxDefense is still hopeful that Hyundai WIA will re-consider and submit a bid.

The Yugoslavian version of the Soviet M46 howitzer, using a 155mm caliber gun instead of Soviet 130mm, might have been offered by Stone of David. It may be sourced from either Serbia or Bosnia.
Photo of M46 howitzer taken from

An earlier MaxDefense blog entry speculated that Korea's Hyundai WIA will take part on the initial tender, but that they did not submit a bid. Also missing is the favorite among the AFP, the BAE Land System's M777. This might be due to the budget allocated by the AFP, as both Hyundai WIA's KH179 and BAE's M777 may cost higher than what the AFP can afford. It is expected that both Elbit Systems and Stone of David may return to re-bid for the project, and MaxDefense still expects Hyundai WIA and BAE Land Systems to pass on this project.

A simplified version of Elbit Systems' Soltam ATHOS 155mm Towed Howitzer might be offered to the Philippine Army and Marine Corps' requirements.
Photo taken from Army-Guide website.

MaxDefense's Opinion:
Based on information gathered and observation of events, MaxDefense believes that Elbit Systems has the highest chance of bagging this project, possibly with an offer based on a simplified version of the automated Soltam Athos System. This is related to the growing relationship between the Israeli military and defense industry, and the AFP. MaxDefense sources have already indicated a very active lobbying of Israeli systems to executive branch of the government, the DND, and the AFP. This is evident with the recent awarding or being shotlisted for defense projects by Israeli companies without undergoing tender: 

  • Elbit recently got awarded with a contract to provide 28 upgraded M113 armored vehicles for the PA; 
  • IAI-Elta Systems Ltd. was shortlisted as among the leading choices to supply the 3 air defense and surveillance radar systems for the Philippine Air Force.
  • Although tendered, IAI-Elta Systems was one of the winning bidders for the establishment of Coast Watch Systems for the Philippine Navy. 

There are indications that Israel may be offering refurbished 155mm towed howtizers, probably Soltam M-71s (above) similar to what the PA is using.
Photo taken from Wikipedia.

There is a strong indication that Israel is pushing to supply the AFP with several military systems and equipment consisting of new and surplus but still usable systems. This includes several types of missile systems, armored vehicles, gun systems for land and naval applications, patrol boats, artillery, radar and sensors systems, combat aircraft and helicopters. This possibility of purchasing used/refurbished artillery systems from Israel may affect the decision in awarding the contract for the new 155mm towed howitzers, as it gives Israeli products a strong edge due to commonality in supply chain, maintenance, and training.

MaxDefense awaits for more information regarding this project and will inform its readers of any updates, as the 155mm towed howitzer project was given less attention with the SAA/LIFT acquisition project based on the KAI FA-50 is gaining traction these past weeks. 

March 28, 2014 - Elbit Systems Land & C4I wins the tender to supply 12 units of 155mm towed howitzer and ammunition for the Philippine Army and Marine Corps. Elbit System's bid was reportedly at Php 368,837,332.00 for the entire package, which is lowed than the project ABC of Php 438,620,000.00. Offer was reportedly the ATHOS system, probably in 39 caliber model.

Elbit System's ATHOS 155mm Towed Howitzer, said to be the next 155mm towed artillery system for the PA & PMC.
Photo taken from Elbit System's website.

More updates from MaxDefense when information starts to trickle down.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

PAF Confirms Acquisition of C-295 as its Medium Lift Fixed Wing Transport Aircraft

After finally getting confirmation from DND sources, MaxDefense is confident to announce the recent award of the medium lift fixed wing aircraft procurement project by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to Airbus Military/CASA for the C-295 aircraft. This was after Airbus Military was chosen over PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI - Indonesian Aerospace) with its CN-235, and Alenia Aermacchi of Italy with its ATR-42 (yes, they did not offer the C-27J) for the 2nd bidding attempt made by the DND. PT DI and Alenia Aermacchi's bids were found unacceptable by the DND's Bids and Awards Committee. Airbus Military's bid was at Php 5,288,609,983.99, which is lower than the budget allocated by the AFP.

Airbus Military's C-295, which was awarded recently by DND for the PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft acquisition project.

The project is currently being questioned by losing bidder Alenia Aermacchi over its claim that both of its competitors in the project, Airbus Military and PT DI, are actually strategic partners and are linked together by the production of CN-235 (PT DI's offer) and C-295 (Airbus Military's offer) by both aircraft manufacturer's facilities. Although Alenia's complaints have been brought to the DND, there was no formal complaint filed by them against the decision of the DND to award the project to Airbus Military. PT DI's bid was rejected by the DND as the aircraft being offered was not compliant, the CN-235 cannot carry the required number of passengers and paratroopers due to its shorter fuselage size. Alenia Aermacchi did not submit a bid due to its ongoing complaint, although they submitted the ATR-42 during the 1st bid attempt. More of this issue was discussed in an earlier MaxDefense blog entry, which can be found on the following links:

C-295 Only Eligible Bid for PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft Acquisition Program (January 14, 2014)
Tech Specs Released for PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Transport Aircraft - Is there a Sure Winner? (October 25, 2013)
PAF's Medium Lift Fixed Wing Aircraft Program - A Simple Analysis of the 3 Contenders (October 23, 2013)

Poland is a user of the Airbus Military C-295.

It is expected that the aircraft will be operated by the PAF's 220th Airlift Wing based in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu, probably with the 221st Airlift Squadron which operates the Fokker F-27 Friendship that the C-295 intends to complement and replace in the near future. It is also expected that follow-up orders will be exercised by the PAF, which may see the fleet increase from the initial 3 ordered. Per contract, the expected delivery of the 1st aircraft will be by May 2016, but this can be moved earlier depending on Airbus Military's production schedule. Based on the post bid qualification  inspections, it also appears that the PAF orders will be manufactured by the CASA-Airbus Military facility in Seville, Spain rather than with PT DI's facility in Bandung, Indonesia.

The C-295 is expected to compliment and eventually replace the Fokker F-27 Friendship with the 220th Airlift Wing of the PAF.

It is expected that the actual contract will be signed between the AFP and Airbus Military within March, 2014. 

With the C-295's win, it also solidify its chances in getting shortlisted for the PAF's Maritime Patrol Aircraft project. MaxDefense sources confirmed that the US-route that was being sought after by the PAF is not yet 100% confirmed, and the C-295 and other new models could still be chosen. To simplify training, logistics and maintenance, aircraft commonality might be considered, this recent win will push the C-295 forward in the race. Previous reports confirmed that Alenia Aermacchi is offering an ATR-42 or ATR-72 based MPA platform for the PAF, while PT DI's CN-235 platform is also being offered. 

Chile's C-295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

MaxDefense will provide further updates on this project as the project progresses from production to delivery.

January 23, 2015:
A heads-up information from one of our readers lead us to a photo taken by Juanfco Mayoral and posted on Taken on October 2014 based on the information from the website, showing an Airbus Military C-295 in Philippine Air Force markings undertaking flight testing in Spain.

The said photo of the PAF-bound C-295.
Photo by Juanfco Mayoral c/o

It sports the specified white over grey body paint similar to what the PAF's Fokker F-27 Friendships are currently using. Unfortunately, it appears that the PAF C-295 doesn't have the winglets on the tip of the wings that are meant to improve the performance of the aircraft, even if there are news that Airbus Military will be having such winglets on all new-build C-295s starting 2014. It is assumed based on the photo that the PAF-bound C-295 in the photo, with tail number 129, was built within 2014.

With the presence of this aircraft, it is now expected that Airbus Military will be able to deliver far earlier than what was expected from them, with this aircraft probably in PAF's hands by within the 1st half of 2015. It could also be possible that a 2nd aircraft can be delivered within the year.

April 1, 2015:

The Department of National Defense and the Philippine Air Force formally accepted the first of three brand new Airbus Military-CASA C-295M medium tactical transport aircraft in a formal ceremony last March 30, 2015 at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City. It would be assigned with the 220th Airlift Wing based in Benito Ebuen Air Base in Mactan, Cebu.

The PAF's 1st C-295M aircraft during the acceptance ceremonies.
Photo taken from GMA News.

The aircraft, with tail number 129, was delivered several months in advance, and has already embarked on its first mission when it delivered supplies from Villamor Air Base to Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu, then to Edwin Andrews Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

It is expected that the rest of the ordered aircraft will be arriving in advance as well, probably within this year.

Philippine Navy Modernization Projects

Philippine Air Force Modernization Projects