Latest Update of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force modernization program - Maestrale Warships, T-50 fighter jets, and more

Latest Update of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force modernization program

Philippine spyplanes -our version of Drones

It's been a while that we haven't updated our articles regarding the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program. It's not that there is no progress of the program but it's just because I was quite busy within the last few weeks dealing with some personal stuff. Another thing, I don't like to publish this type of article without thorough research and investigation. But anyways, I am ready to bring to you the latest development of the Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force modernization program.

So, what's the current status? Are we heading to a better future?



Let's start with the development of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) which recently celebrated its 65th founding anniversary on July 6 at the Fernando Air Base. During the celebration they showcase their newly acquired assets like the SF-260 trainer planes among others. We received a bad news coming out of the accident in May 2012 where one of its new planes from an Italian supplier Aermachi crashed in Mariveles. But I still find few reasons to brag our air force defense mechanism and accidents can happen anytime.


There are two (2) C-130 planes which are expected to be in operation this year as quoted from the SONA of our President Benigno Aquino III.  Philstar also published an article about this in May 2012. However, don't expect too much yet. These two C-130 planes aren't brand new. These are refurbished but still it could augment its heavy-lift capability. C-130 is used by the military to transport troops and supplies. It has also been used to transport relief goods and other supplies for victims of typhoons and other forms of calamities.


The Air Force is expecting by November four additional Sokol helicopters from Augusta PZL Swidnick, an Italian and Polish firm, which signed a P2.8 billion ($65.6 million) contract with the AFP for the delivery of eight Sokol combat utility helicopters (Philstar).

Okay, I know majority of the Filipinos and that might include you who are dragging down this topic because it looks like we are just relying on refurbished equipments from other superior countries. Just to satisfy what you are looking for, please continue to read.

Philippine Air Force to beef its fleet with supersonic jets

Twelve (12) supersonic jets known as surface attack aircraft lead-in fighters TA-50 are expected to be delivered by 2013(ABS-CBN news). These planes are currently being developed by Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. Each jet costs P1.25 billion for a total of P25 billion for the dozen jets. 

These are "full-fledged attack platform" that can carry precision-guided weapons. Once deployed in our air space this could boost our stunt in defending our lands located in the disputed waters in West Philippine sea know as the Spratly Islands


By the way, you may ask why is it that Php 1.25 billion multiplied by 12 jets equates to Php 25B. In my assessment, there might be some additional items and services that will be included. From Interaksyon news, it has published that those 12 jets would only cost Php 14B.

Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol, PAF spokesman said the jets can be used to monitor the country's air space, including intrusions from foreign aircraft. This will be a great complement to the radars that will also be purchased soon. Aside from the jets, the PAF eyes more acquisition under the defense acquisition system. These include of three medium lift transports, eight light lift transports, 10 attack helicopters, three air defense radars and two long-range patrol aircraft (interaksyon news).

Still in doubt the capability of this plane? Check wikipedia for its full specification. And let me remind you, even if these planes aren't that powerful, our Philippine Air Force can make it a fearful bird on the air. Do a quick research on our Blue Diamond aerobatic team.

Enough with the Air Force and lets go to the Philippine Navy

Currently, BRP Gregorio del Pilar is already patroling the Philippine waters. The second decommissioned US hamilton class cutter is named BRP Ramon Alcaraz which was acquired by the Philippines under the Excess Defense Articles and the Foreign Assistance Act will soon dock in yards of Philippine Navy. It costs us around Php 450M.

Some said that this not enough and I agree. Hence, the AFP decided to buy two more warships. This time not from the United States but coming from Europe. Speculations regarding the planned purchase of two (2) Italian warships is now materialized and due for signing of contract next year. These Italian warships, Maestrale class frigates are  armed with surface-to-air and surface-to-surface missiles and capable of hunting down submarines in the West Philippine Sea are set to strengthen the Philippines' maritime defense capabilities. Gazmin said the Philippine Navy is buying the P11.7-billion Maestrale-class frigates , which have anti-submarine and anti-aircraft weaponry(ABS CBN news and PDI news).

When I read the article from PDI news it says "At last, the Philippines will be getting real warships." Is this a sarcastic comment? I don't think so. I believe that the writer has shown his/her appreciation about this latest development. Just like us here in, we really appreciate small details of our defense modernization program as it slowly progresses.

Apart from a third warship, the Philippine Navy said it was planning to purchase three "marinized" naval helicopters to complement its available warships. No definite date has been set, but Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama told reporters Friday the plan is to buy these using funds generated from the Energy department's Malampaya project(Interaksyon news). The three will eventually be attached to the Hamilton-class cutters purchased from the United States.

But wait, our friends from Japan won't leave us without any valuable offer. The country offered twelve brand new patrol vessels to our Philippine Navy too, according to a top official of the Japanese Embassy in Manila.  Shimizu said, “ Tokyo has yet to decide which of the vessels will be built and transferred to the Philippine government on official development assistance or grants(PDI news).” These could be the 12 Multi-purpose Attack Crafts which has been a rumor for quite a while now.

“They’re considering 10 40-meter boats on official development aid and two larger ones as grants,” Del Rosario said (PDI news).

“It is cooperation for the purpose of dealing with various maritime safety and law enforcement issues, such as piracy and search and rescue,” said Minister Shinsuke Shimizu, head of the Japanese Embassy’s chancery (PDI news).

To sum it up:

1. 12 T-50 fighter jets from South Korea (all brand new)
2. 2 C-130 planes
3. 4 brand new Sokol helicopters and more attack helicopters to come
4. 2 Maestrale-class frigates (Italian warships)
5. 3 naval helicopters
6. 10 40-meter boats and two larger boats coming from Japan (all brand new)

Wow! More to come, and believes that credible defense can be achieved faster than expected.

Oh reminder generals, colonels and to all public officials, please don't pocket the allocated funds for these modernization program. We are almost tired paying our taxes and most of these tax payers are getting too old and have not seen the fruits of our labor. Stop corruption please!

Related Article: Philippine Navy locally made gun boats (MPACs) and Landing Craft Utility

Like and SHARE this interesting post to your friends!

Website Disclaimer: The views of individual bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of The owner and administrator of this site has given the bloggers the privilege to practice their freedom of speech and of expression.

Like us on Facebook:

Follow us on Twitter:

Also visit our G+ profile.

About the Author - It's all about us. It's all about you!

Humans have the same brain structure but we have different opinions. You are entitled to freedom of speech. Feel free to provide your own feedback using the comment box below. Don't be a silent reader. Speak up!
Disclaimer: Photos included in this article are not owned by unless otherwise stated. If you are the owner of the photo and you would like to be credited, please hit the 'contact us' link from the main menu above and we will pay proper attribution after careful verification of your identity and of your 'claimed' image/s. grabbed these photos using google searches. Thank you.

  • 5 stars
    Comment from: arapax
    10/04/12 @ 07:34:28 am

    these newly acquired assets and future plans of our gov’t for the AFP are really nice to hear about . . . gives hope that our country still has a chance to progress.

    though it’s good to have these toys from foreign countries, we should also be pursuing our dreams to create our own. locally made ship Tagbanua mentioned here but where are the Defiant & hummingbird of PAF? the MX-8 AEV of Steelcraft? hovercraft dev’t under DOST? Ferfran SOAR, why not?

  • 5 stars
    Comment from: makabayan
    10/02/12 @ 10:16:09 am

    kaya nga tayo di umaasenso kasi mahilig tayong manira, crab mentality e ka nga…
    kung nagkakaisa pa tayo sa lahat ng magagandang adhikain di sana ganito ang
    pinas…think twice before tayo manghusga..the government is trying it’s best to protect it’s country and it’s people. sana ganun din tayo.. let us think what we can do to our country
    not the other way around.. to much freedom is abuse.

  • 4 stars
    Comment from: athan
    08/29/12 @ 04:59:11 pm

    with all due respect to the writer but I think with regards to the LIFT (Lead In Fighter-Trainer) we acquired or will be acquiring the TA-50’s not the T ones which are dedicated trainers only. Also, regarding the 2nd Hamilton WHECS which will be renamed BRP Ramon Alcaraz, I think that price was not just $450M, it was a bit more expensive than the first one (BRP Gregorio del Pilar) for some reason (maybe some added armaments). With the Maestrales well all I can say is that…. IT EXCITES ME!!!

    good job though… and go go go Philippine NAvy!

  • DiversityHuman
    Comment from: DiversityHuman
    08/20/12 @ 09:35:33 am

    2 Shiretoko class 78 meters 970 tons high endurance cutters - yet to be confirmed. A rumor echoed on the web that the transfer will hapen before the year ends. Let’s check this out soon!

  • Nic
    Comment from: Nic
    08/20/12 @ 05:12:46 am

    I heard that we are getting New cutter ships this time from Japan? is this true?

  • Rob
    Comment from: Rob
    08/18/12 @ 12:56:28 pm

    yeah i know right. we’re so outdated but we can’t be to choosy right now. how they say it?! spend wisely. but just the fact that our government are making and preparing actions to upgrade our defenses it really give us hope that we might get out of the poverty crisis that were at. because im hoping and wishing that the next generation should have a better future +D

  • Rob
    Comment from: Rob
    08/17/12 @ 03:43:11 am

    yes i know, as i said. this really make me feel we’re so outdated (understatement na ata to) 60?! thats a lot.

  • Comment from: admin
    08/16/12 @ 09:30:04 pm

    I hope I can free a little from my current schedules and I will take some fresh photos of the Marine tanks in Fort Bonifacio.

    We recently bought 200 brand new 6x6 trucks among other equipment for the Philippine infantry group. High end sniping guns are only available for the special force of AFP.

    We are about 4 decades away from the current defense of our neighboring nations. China has 60 submarines. Read this:

  • Rob
    Comment from: Rob
    08/16/12 @ 06:13:13 pm

    i see, i hope we could get at least one. i got curious if our army has a tank (shame on me for not knowing) and to my surprise there is even thought its small and old its still a light tank. now i want to look it up where did they used it on

  • Nic
    Comment from: Nic
    08/15/12 @ 02:13:48 pm

    yeah read that before. Theres an auction going on they said. so its really not sure.

  • Rob
    Comment from: Rob
    08/15/12 @ 05:00:37 am

    is it true that South korea is gonna give or sell a Pohang class ship to the philippines? i saw it somewhere on the net but im not sure if its just a rumor. man lookin at those things really make us feel so outdated T_T still better some than none.

  • Nic
    Comment from: Nic
    08/12/12 @ 07:18:06 pm

    yeah… cause how our president is buying these things in a quick pace, he does not seem to have any delays not like our ex presidents espicially GMA and damn ERAP… can you believe that our countries FOREIGN debt was only hundred million PESOS!!!!! Less?!???! after marcus regime…. i feel disappointed about our presidents who were COMPLETE IDIOTS AND LUNATICS….. sigh…. i only hope when i get older. I want to pass away from a country that rose from their knee again and there i would lie in peace and in safety. this made no sense :-)

  • rob
    Comment from: rob
    08/12/12 @ 12:10:56 pm

    yeah, if we have more they’ll probably think twice to intrude our waters. but still some is better than none :D

    hopefully whoever will succeed ninoy will continue the plan for AFP modernization.

  • DiversityHuman
    Comment from: DiversityHuman
    08/11/12 @ 11:02:54 pm


    We have Light attack aircraft and Basic jet trainer (S-211 and SF-260) planes.

    AS-211 can carry an ammunition load of up to 2,000 pounds only. Again, the primary purpose of these planes are trainer planes. Our brand new Combat Helicopters as stated above are currently in service too.

    But take note, if you are asking for real “air defense” that can stand against the neighboring nations? Sad to say, we don’t have any.

    We are still about to get those in the future.

    If we will get 48 fighter jets and 3-4 warships excluding the ones already mentioned, then most likely than not, China will have second thoughts in patrolling the waters of the West Philippine sea.

  • Nic
    Comment from: Nic
    08/11/12 @ 03:32:18 pm

    … great, so what else is currently protecting our skies aside from the OV 10 planes that look like toy planes?

  • Comment from: admin
    08/11/12 @ 07:16:11 am


    We have quite few:

    1. Arsenal’s facilities at Camp General Antonio Luna in Bataan Province churn out ammunition ONLY
    2. ARMSCOR, local gunmaker
    3. We have a ship yard in CDO which is currently acquiring contracts to build more sea crafts
    4. Most of the gun maker in the Philippines are from the underground as backed up by reports by the local media.
    5. If you are asking of ICWs Research and development, that we have to build yet. The Santa Barbara missile project during the Marcos regime is not yet totally confirmed until now though it was said that Senator Enrile was part of the team who saw it first hand. Search the web and you will find interesting information.


    Regarding those F-5’s, I still have to confirm it if all of those are still in the Air force hangar. The last thing I know about it, it is still under our possession.

  • 5 stars
    Comment from: Rob
    08/11/12 @ 06:55:27 am

    i think the f-5s were decommissioned. from what i read before it was retired 5 were still serviceable among 13. but i think your right. f-5 could still help in guarding our skies. i used to go up our roof every independence day to just look at those f-5s. but also from what i read. in case of emergency all of those 13 could still be used.

    do you have any other link about local weapons maker. i haven’t heard of any. suddenly i’m interested to learn about it :D

  • Nic
    Comment from: Nic
    08/10/12 @ 06:16:57 pm

    yes, i have already browsed these articles and they somehow made meproud even if these are just small contsuctions. But I am just wondering about what had happened to our f-5’s? Im sure those things are also affective in ground support, how come i never heard of them ever since? are they still in our arsenal? or… did a foreign ship come to pick up our one of our “fighter jets” for their museum display?

  • Comment from: admin
    08/09/12 @ 09:22:47 am

    There are some vital factors that we have to consider. To tell you, there was even a public bid that was turned down by our government three(3) times because this time around we are considering the services the bidder can offer(among others), also how long will they manufacture spare parts in the future, etc.

    We can’t fabricate spare parts that easily so we have to be careful with the offer. Italy seems offering their frigates with future services support and including spare parts fabrication when needed. Sounds a best buy.

    Now, read this link:
    Philippine Navy locally made Attack Craft and Landing Craft Utility

    That indicates that our government is aiming to have more home-built sea craft. Hopefully it will be also materialized by the next administration. six(6) year term of presidency in the Philippines means a lot, all previous platforms can be erased the moment a new president steps in-but again, hopefully not!

  • Nic
    Comment from: Nic
    08/09/12 @ 07:05:14 am

    thank you, but can i ask one question? isn’t 5 years too long? or is it because of our budget that is slowing the progress down?

  • Comment from: admin
    08/09/12 @ 12:12:40 am


    Those are very well-said statements. Yes, we were once the eagle in the sky. Neighboring countries asked training from our very own elite air force and philippine navy long time ago.

    Hopefully, these developments we have for our AFP thru the modernization program would bring us to top again -elite forces in Asia.

  • 5 stars
    Comment from: Nic
    08/08/12 @ 07:06:53 am

    I also agree what you said in the last statement to the generals, officers etc. are very true. If these people weren’t selfish we would have done this a few years ago. I blame Gloria for all this thats happening around us. Also Cory Aquino. Sorry for those who admire her but… you have to read this to see the darkside of Cory and the origins of our poverty… Even if Marcus was called a monster. He did his job and brought this nation to its FULL capacity and on its feet standing proud and strong, but when cory came… this is where all PROBLEMS started to bring the Philippines down to its knees and left alone to rot.

    And for the military during the regime of Marcus, our army was Strong and powerful and our airforce was READY and EAGER to challenge anyone who would fly above our skies.

    We helped in the Fight for South Koreas freedom sending 7,500 Filipino men and we were the 4th largest army under the command of the UN, and proud to say that Douglas MacArthur said… ” Give me ten thousand filipinos, and I will conquer the world” and another general named Robert Soule said… ” The fighting Filipinos are the best allied unit under my command” True is all I can say, I am proud to be born in a nation that held their chin up high and brought pride to this nation. I almost lost SO MUCH HOPE for this country but these things lifted me up.

    STAY PROUD AND BE PROUD FILIPINOS. You are always remembered for your selfless acts to save and help other nations even if your nation is in struggle. You will be remembered. Mabuhay

  • personal trainer in west hollywood
    Trackback from: personal trainer in west hollywood
    10/17/12 @ 08:08:37 am

    personal trainer in west hollywood
    philippine navy maestrale,philippine navy italy warship, philippine navy warship, philippine forces modernization program, maestrale class philippines,maestrale frigate philippines, philippine fighter jets korea, philippine air force T-50,