Japan to give 3 more trainer aircraft to Philippines

Kyodo News

Posted at Mar 21 2018 11:06 PM

The TC-90 aircraft leased by the Japanese government to the Philippines. Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News/file

Japan will give another three Beechcraft TC-90 trainer aircraft to the Philippine Navy next week, completing the transfer of five such aircraft to it, Philippine Navy spokesperson Captain Lued Lincuna said Wednesday.

"The TC-90s will enhance Philippine Navy's capability to conduct aerial surveillance and recon of our territorial waters," Philippine Defense Department spokesman Arsenio Andolong told Kyodo News, adding that they will also be used in disaster response and rescue operations.

The transfer will take place Monday at a naval base about 30 kilometers south of Manila in Cavite province, Lincuna said.

"These TC90 aircraft are in addition to the two units previously transferred to the (Philippine Navy) last year" under an agreement between the Japanese and Philippine governments, the Philippine Navy said in a separate advisory.

The five aircraft were initially part of a $28,000 a year, five-year lease agreement between the Philippines and Japan.

But last month Andolong said the five aircraft will be given for free to the Philippine military under a grant agreement between the two countries.

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana previously also told Kyodo News that at least two Philippine pilots and six maintenance workers were training in Japan for the operation and upkeep of the TC-90 aircraft.