12:00 AM, July 6, 2012
The Philippines today announced that it is all set to upgrade its poorly-equipped Air Force and in two years will acquire new warplanes. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that deliveries of attack aircraft, lead-in fighter-trainers, attack helicopters and light and medium transport aircraft are expected to be delivered by the end of 2014. “These aircraft shall once and for all, erase the ironic and naughty commentary that our present Air Force is all air, devoid of force,” Gazmin said. By the end of July, the Defense Department plans to sign contracts implementing 138 military modernization projects over the next five years. Gazmin, however, refused to say how much the contracts would cost or who would supply such equipment. Without mentioning the territorial dispute with China, Gazmin said that “Air Force personnel were all over the archipelago, including the West Philippine Sea, the local term for the South China Sea”.