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PH Air Force to defend choices of multi-role fighter aircraft

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is expected to present and defend before senior defense and military leaders its choices for the multi-role fighter (MRF) aircraft in December or the end of the year, its top official said on Saturday.

During the “Up-Up Pilipinas Padayon PAF” forum at the Villamor Air Base, Pasay City, PAF commander, Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez said he will meet with ranking PAF generals to discuss the MRFs before presenting it to these senior officials.

“It (MRF selection and acquisition) will be the biggest decision that will be made by the PAF because our performance to defend the airspace (depends on this acquisition),” he said in Filipino.

The MRF is part of Horizon Two of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program which is slated for 2018 to 2023 and aims to acquire more equipment for external defense.

Briguez added that 12 various MRFs are evaluated by the PAF and said any aircraft that will be selected must be able to integrate with existing radar systems that have a range of around 250 nautical miles.

Once these MRFs are acquired, the PAF, with the help of these radar systems, can be deployed to determine whether the aircraft flying in Philippine airspace is friendly or hostile.

These proposed MRFs are expected to augment the existing fleet of 12 South Korean-made Mach 1.5 capable FA-50PH jet aircraft acquired from 2015 to 2017 by the PAF as its first supersonic aircraft after the decommissioning its Northrop F-5 “Tiger” jet fighters in 2005. (PNA)