The Philippines today signed agreements worth $528 million to purchase military aircraft from South Korea and Canada amid ongoing territorial disputes with China.
Korea Aerospace Industries will deliver 12 FA-50 jets worth $421.12 million in just over three years under a contract agreed by Philippine defence officials and South Korean government representatives.
The Southeast Asian country also completed a $106 million contract with Canadian Commercial Corp. and Canada's Bell Helicopters to build eight helicopters for the military.
The twin deals are part of the Philippines' $1.6 billion military upgrade programme, particularly units tasked with patrolling disputed territory in the South China Sea.
Under the upgrade programme, President Benigno Aquino's government has also acquired two refurbished frigates from the US coastguard.
"After more than four decades of stagnancy in its dream of improving its capability, our air force has found a promise of new life with the realisation of our (military) modernisation programme," Philippine Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was quoted as saying by MSN Malaysian News.