Villamor Airbase, Pasay City
5 December 2015
After delivering his arrival statement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal II, President Benigno S. Aquino III headed to Villamor Airbase for the joint turnover and blessing of the newly acquired air assets of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
The President led the blessing and champagne pouring on the two FA-50PH aircrafts, one C295M aircraft, and six AW-109E helicopters.
The FA-50PH aircrafts were acquired under the revised P85 billion Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. Contracted with the Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd., it is the most upscale military modernization project that the Philippine government has sealed.
Likewise, one C295M aircraft was acquired from the Airbus Defense and Space. The P5.3 billion aircraft has 65 paratrooper seats.
Meanwhile, six AW-109E helicopters were contracted with the Agusta Westland. It is a combat aircraft that can operate in any combat environment, and has sensor and weapons to seek, neutralize and destroy enemy targets including armored vehicles, installations, infantry and sea craft.
These newly acquired air assets will boost the PAF’s capabilities for territorial defense, search and rescue operations, disaster relief missions, and combat operations in any environment, as well as provide the desired strike capability for close air support on day and night missions.
“Boss, ang layo na talaga ng ating narating sa Daang Matuwid. Naalala pa po siguro ninyo: Parang kailan lang, ni wala sa pangarap nating makabili ng mga moderno at dekalibreng eroplano na magagamit ng ating Air Force,” President Aquino said during the ceremony.