Philippines receives 4 training aircraft from US

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 10 2022 02:51 PM

ABS-CBN News
Bianca Dava, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The Philippines on Thursday received 4 new training aircraft from the United States as part of the country's plans to boost its maritime security capabilities.

The $2.2-million worth Cessna 172S Skyhawk training aircraft, which were acquired through the US Foreign Military Financing Program, will be used by the Philippine Navy Naval Air Wing.

"These air assets will significantly improve the Navy's ability to prepare naval pilots for the crucial task of monitoring and safeguarding our maritime territories and domain as we rejoice over this milestone," Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in his speech during the turnover ceremony at Sangley Point, Cavite.

US Embassy in Manila Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino and Navy chief Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado also attended the ceremony.

Lorenzana said the "productive and enduring relationship" between Manila and Washington was the key to the success of the acquisition program.

"Your ardent support to the AFP modernization program is very much appreciated and valued not just by the defense and security sector but the entire Filipino nation as well," he said.

"On our end, rest assured that we are committed more than ever to the alliance. We acknowledge our shared commitment to help preserve the peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region," he added.

Lorenzana also said the Navy was anticipating a productive year for its modernization program.

Eight frigates with surface-to-surface missile capability and 2 fast attack interdiction craft-missile are expected to be delivered soon, he said.

Upgrading the Navy's light armor system and Del Pilar-class vessels are also expected to be completed before the year-end, Lorenza added.

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