The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is set to initially receive two command-and-control aircraft as part of the military’s modernization program.
The first aircraft, an Airbus Defense & Space C-295 medium transport, would be delivered by the last quarter of this year, while the second, a Gulfstream 280 business jet, is expected by August 2020.
This was bared by the Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong when sought for updates on the military modernization program.
“As far as I know, the status of the procurement of the C-295 command-and-control aircraft and G-280 are already in the contract implementation phase. In fact, the C-295 is set to be delivered within the year and the G-280 will be delivered sometime next year, about August,” Andolong said.
He said the contract for C-295 medium transport is worth PHP1.8 billion or around 28.8 million euros.
The C-295 is a new generation, very robust and reliable, highly versatile tactical airlifter able to carry up to nine tons of payload or up to 71 personnel, at a maximum cruise speed of 260 knots.
Fitted with retractable landing gear and a pressurized cabin, it can cruise at altitudes up to 25,000 feet, while retaining remarkable short take-off and landing performance from unprepared short, soft and rough airstrips, as well as low-level flight characteristics.
The DND spokesperson said the C-295 is also suitable for its maritime patrol missions as well as for transporting supplies and troops, while the G-280 can serve as an airborne command post for senior leaders in times of crisis.
DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the notice to Proceed for the C-295 on October 16, 2018.
“(The G-280) flies faster than the C-295 and the G-280 will primarily serve as platform to carry our senior leaders and commanders in the event of example crisis situation. It can be used by the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Chief-of-Staff, the Secretary of National Defense, our Major Service Commanders and the President, although you want to use the term lightly or loosely, it is similar to an airborne command post, it would serve that purpose,” Andolong said.
The G-280 is capable of speed around five hundred knots and has a range of 3,600 nautical miles aside from having the capability to land on small runways and transporting 12 to 15 persons including the pilots and crew.
Andolong said the contract for the G-280 was signed in November last year and was acquired via US Foreign Military Sales. The cost of G-280 is around USD37 million. (PNA)