Deadline all the time

breaking news stories, photos, and video

Air Force seeks upgrade to gain nations’ respect–PAF chief

leave a comment »

By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 10:46:00 07/02/2008

MACTAN AIRBASE, Cebu — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) needs to update its aging fleet and equipment with fighter jets and state of the art radar to project “military power” and gain the respect of other nations, PAF Chief Lieutenant General Pedrito Cadungog said Wednesday.

But planning for the acquisition of modern hardware, geared towards external defense, will not start until 2011, when security forces would have met President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 2010 deadline to defeat insurgent groups, Cadungog told reporters here.

“Personally, I’m not worried about an invader a foreign invasion, but as a respected nation we must have a projection of military power. Without it, who will respect us? No one,” he said.

Asked to assess the PAF’s external defense capability, Cadungog said: “[The PAF has] limited capability, very, very limited.”

The Air Force chief estimates that at least P50 billion is needed to build a “respectable” fleet, in place of the current aircrafts in the PAF inventory, which includes Vietnam War era UH-1H helicopters, and aging OV-10 bomber planes and MG-520 attack helicopters.

The PAF decommissioned its F5 fighter planes in 2005 due to high maintenance costs.

Cadungog said the acquisition of night-capable attack helicopter was “very, very crucial” to meeting the President’s 2010 deadline, since air support boosts the fighting spirit of ground troops.

Alleged anomalies in bidding forced the cancellation of a supply contract with an American firm for the night-capable helicopters, setting back the delivery date from this year, to next year.

The President has increased the budget for the helicopters from P1.2 billion to roughly P3 billion, enough for 14 units, Cadungog said.

“Our brother soldiers in the Army and the Marines, if you hear their stories, just hearing the sound of our OV-10 and MG-520, they become braver,” he said.

Arroyo will be the guest of honor and speaker at the 61st PAF anniversary rites here. Military Chief General Alexander Yano, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., and other government officials are expected to attend.

View article as posted on INQUIRER.net

Advertisements

Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-07-02T05:14:28+00:00UTC07bUTCWed, 02 Jul 2008 05:14:28 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: