Palace: Military modernization is not aimed against China-A A +A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
MALACAÑANG clarified Wednesday that the military's plan to modernize the capability of its air force is not aimed at containing China, which claims some areas in the western part of the Philippines.
The country acquired from South Korea 12 surface attack aircraft lead-in fighters or TA-50, which cost P1.25 billion each. The new fighter planes are scheduled to be delivered to the country this year.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the fighter jets will be used "primarily for training, interdiction, disaster response."
"These planes have camera capabilities to monitor also and to take pictures of disaster areas. So it will be used in a number of ways," he added.
Lacierda said the Philippine Air Force has already decommissioned its fighter jets, thus the need to upgrade the military hardware of the Armed Forces of the Philippines as part of military's modernization program.
"We don't have any existing jets right now that are in use, therefore, it is necessary for us to upgrade based on our commitment to upgrade our military hardware and this is part of the ongoing process of modernizing our military hardware," he said.
He said that military upgrade has been a priority of the government even before the territorial dispute between China and Philippines over the West Philippine Sea started.
The Palace official noted that the acquisition of jets is not an urgent plan considering that China has been upgrading their military hardware.
"It's not aimed at any particular country. The (AFP) Modernization Act has been a priority. There is a law to modernize our military hardware and so this is part and parcel of our obligation to our country," he stressed. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)