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Philippine Air Force Discussions and Updates

This is a discussion on Philippine Air Force Discussions and Updates within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Philippines eyeing to buy fourth-generation jet fighters Philippines eyeing to buy fourth-generation jet fighters MANILA –An AFP official on Monday ...


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Old June 21st, 2011   #301
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Philippines eyeing to buy fourth-generation jet fighters
Philippines eyeing to buy fourth-generation jet fighters

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MANILA –An AFP official on Monday unveil their plans of buying fourth-generation jet fighters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF). The PAF is eyeing two buy two fighter jets making its evaluation between Mig-29 Fulcrum and F-18 Hornets.

Mig-29 Fulcum is generally similar to Sukhoi Su-27 and known for Air-superiority and multirole fighter, the unit cost is ranging to US$29 million.

F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic fighter specially design for air combat and attack ground targets. The primary users of this multirole fighters are United States Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and Spanish Air Force. The unit cost is ranging from US$29 to US$57 million.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad told reporters on Saturday that the budget for AFP modernization in the next 5 years is P40 billion.

“As the President said, the potential for resources especially in the areas around the Palawan are huge so it is important to provide perimeter security” said Abad.

The AFP is expecting the delivery of four W-3A Sokol Combat Utility Helicopter scheduled on November and another four in the second quarter of 2012.

Aside from the Philippine Navy’s newest war ship BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) formerly known as USCGC Hamilton WHEC-715, the Philippine Coast Guard is also eyeing to buy another Hamilton class cutter.

According to AFP Modernization Program Management Office head Brig. Gen. Roy Deveraturda, among the priorities of AFP modernization program are fighter jets, patrol helicopters with sensors, search-and-rescue helicopters, transport aircraft, and strategic sea-lift vessels.
Can anyone here help me check if the costs given are accurate and if the Philippine Air Force can still acquire brand new units of the MiG-29 and the F/A-18 Hornet (not the Super Hornet)?
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Old June 21st, 2011   #302
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Originally Posted by SASWanabe View Post
are they going to buy a new build or something?
That part of the news is inaccurate because there is no brand new Hamilton class cutter for sale and it's the Philippine Navy that is bent on buying more ex-Hamilton class cutters (to be converted to frigates) not the Philippine Coast Guard.
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Old June 21st, 2011   #303
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Can anyone here help me check if the costs given are accurate and if the Philippine Air Force can still acquire brand new units of the MiG-29 and the F/A-18 Hornet (not the Super Hornet)?
They're definitely not going to have any luck sourcing brand new Hornets, that's for sure - the type isn't in production anymore. I have serious doubts the PAF are going to acquire any modern front-line fighter aircraft in the foreseeable future. The costs of acquisition, support and maintenance are just too high. It's a shame for the PAF, but I don't know how the country would afford it considering all the other capabilities that need to be filled also.
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Old June 21st, 2011   #304
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That part of the news is inaccurate because there is no brand new Hamilton class cutter for sale and it's the Philippine Navy that is bent on buying more ex-Hamilton class cutters (to be converted to frigates) not the Philippine Coast Guard.
IMO the entire article is suspect.

All three pieces of kit mentioned as being pursued for acquisition of 'new' examples are all out of production. The only MiG-29 variant that is still in production and therefore can be purchased 'new' is the MiG-29K which is the carrier version of the 'Fulcrum'.

I am sure that there are second hand MiG-29's which the Philippines could purchase and have remanufactured/upgraded. Whether there is sufficient funding to do so, ongoing funding to sustain MiG-29 ops, and also if such a purchase would make sense when compared to alternatives or other AFP needs is another story.

One must remember that the underlying aircraft operations philosophy which the MiG-29 was designed under was a Soviet one. Therefore the aircraft was cheap to produce, but had a comparatively high logistical/sustainment cost. This was reduced and managed by the USSR via economies of scale. Unfortunately, since Russia, nevermind smaller nations, can no longer afford to keep and operate such large numbers of fighters as the USSR did, these economies of scale are no longer being realised. This in turn means that these same fighters have higher logistical costs than they otherwise would.

Two other important things to keep in mind. Within the last few years, ~half of the Russian Air Force fleet of MiG-29's was grounded, permanently IIRC, because of structural decay within the airframe. These were with aircraft listed as active, and not aircraft in depots. Along with this, an order Libya placed for new MiG-29SMT fighters was rejected by Libya when the time for delivery came up. This rejection was due to concerns about the order being for 'new' MiG-29SMT's, but it turned out that large portions of those aircraft 'built' for Libya were actually built during the Cold War. This in turn lead to Libyan officials having concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the contract

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Old June 21st, 2011   #305
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The Mig-29SMTS can also carry anti shipping missiles na d can give the PAF a much needed anti shipping capability.
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Old June 21st, 2011   #306
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Realistically, more would be required if the MiG-29 was chosen, since the USSR had a completely different philosophy and support train setup
I don't know how true this is but I've been told that during the Cold War, the majority of fighter engines were never overhauled, that they were simply replaced by new ones, thanks to a massive military industrial complex churning out state subsidised engines.

The RMAF is a prime example of a western orientated air arm who had problems operating Russian kit. It was simply not prepared for the lower TBO and MTBF of the engines, radar and other flight components.

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This rejection was due to concerns about the order being for 'new' MiG-29SMT's, but it turned out that large portions of those aircraft 'built' for Libya were actually built during the Cold War.
I'm curious if the same applies to the Fulcrums sold to Bangladesh and Myanmmar but the 16 Fulcrum Ns and 2 NUBs sold to Malaysia in 1993 were stored at a Moscow airfield after the Soviet Air Force was unable to pay for them, so were technically new. I'm not sure if they were immediately stored after being built or if they were test flown first.

Can any Philippine members here give any indication as to what is currently a priority for the Philippine Armed Forces? Has the leadership provided any indications? Is the size of the Philippine defence budget to remain the same or will there be an increase?

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The Mig-29SMTS can also carry anti shipping missiles na d can give the PAF a much needed anti shipping capability.
True but than all the fighters that have been offered over the years have already been integrated with an ASM. It can be argued however, with some justification, that the Philippines urgently needs medium range MPAs rather than developing an anti-shipping capability.
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Old June 21st, 2011   #307
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There was an announcement made over the weekend by the budget secretary that the AFP will be receiving an additional P40 Billion ($960 Million) in the next 4 years at P10 billion per year and will come from government shares of royalties from the operations of the Malampaya gas field...


http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/i...d=2011/june/21
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Old June 22nd, 2011   #308
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They're definitely not going to have any luck sourcing brand new Hornets, that's for sure - the type isn't in production anymore. I have serious doubts the PAF are going to acquire any modern front-line fighter aircraft in the foreseeable future. The costs of acquisition, support and maintenance are just too high. It's a shame for the PAF, but I don't know how the country would afford it considering all the other capabilities that need to be filled also.
I think we must not pre-judge or immediately judge the purchasing desire of the P.A.F. in acquiring the modern fighter jets. We know the cost are high and the support and training needs a large sum of money, but if you have the desire and focus towards your goal the PAF can achieve them, specially the circumstances that is happening this time in west phil. sea or south china sea the government must enhance the capability of the AFP
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Old June 22nd, 2011   #309
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I don't know how true this is but I've been told that during the Cold War, the majority of fighter engines were never overhauled, that they were simply replaced by new ones, thanks to a massive military industrial complex churning out state subsidised engines.
From memory, fighter jet engines within the Soviet and WarPac forces were overhauled, but the logistical train to do so was different.

From what I recall and understand, the engines typically had a much lower MTO than the engines found aboard a NATO fighter, but the engine was 'easier' to manufacture. Therefore when the engine needed overhaul, the engine would be removed from the aircraft, a new engine from a parts stock would be installed. Then the engine requiring overhaul would be sent to a depot which basically specialized in overhauling jet engines to do the required work.

Such a system works, and is efficient, if there is a sufficient supply of engines to allow for engines to be swapped without taking fighters offline for service for too great a period. There also needs to be a depot with skilled technicians to perform the engine overhaul efffectively and efficiently. That usually also requires that a certain number of engines are sent to the facility for overhaul on a regular basis to maintain skills as well as allowing for efficient work on the overhauls themselves.

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Old June 22nd, 2011   #310
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There was an announcement made over the weekend by the budget secretary that the AFP will be receiving an additional P40 Billion ($960 Million) in the next 4 years at P10 billion per year and will come from government shares of royalties from the operations of the Malampaya gas field...


Manila Standard Today -- Military upgrade pushed amid Spratlys’ tension -- 2011/june/21
Hmm... If I am reading this correctly, then the AFP budget will increase by ~$240 mil. p.a. for the next four years. Afterwards though...

A $240 mil. p.a. increase would allow for modernization of existing equipment, and some augmentation/replacements. IMO however, that amount, even if held out repeatedly over four years, is insufficient to allow a proper fast jet replacement.

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I think we must not pre-judge or immediately judge the purchasing desire of the P.A.F. in acquiring the modern fighter jets. We know the cost are high and the support and training needs a large sum of money, but if you have the desire and focus towards your goal the PAF can achieve them, specially the circumstances that is happening this time in west phil. sea or south china sea the government must enhance the capability of the AFP
The issue I have, and I suspect other DT posters have it or something similar as well, is just where a fighter jet would fit within the AFP.

There are a few very important concepts which must be kept in mind, and these concepts keep cropping up in my head, causing issues for the AFP.

The first is that the force construct has to be done at a system, not platform level. What this means is that the defence requirements for the AFP as a whole need to be considered, with priority given to the most critical areas within the AFP, relative to the likely threat matrix. A platform level consideration would be that 'the AFP has not operated fighter jets since 2005, so new ones need to be purchased," while ignoring the fact that half the fleet used to patrol the EEZ and maritime approaches and SLOC are WWII-era ex-USN vessels, where the original USN crewmembers are likely either dead or dying of old age...

The second concept, which relates to the first as well as the section I commented on at the beginning of this post, is how a platform acquisition needs to be handled.

First, based off the system construct one has, or one is working towards achieving, platforms which work within the system construct to provide needed/wanted capabilities are identified. Once the various required platforms are determined, consideration is given to the various raise, train, and sustain requirements for the specific platforms. In this case, for a systems construct requiring nn fast jet-capability, decisions need to be made about which fast jets can deliver nn. From here, decisions then are needed about how many jets are needed, in order to provide the desired level of coverage at any one time. At a minimum, if the objective is to have a pair of fast jets available to be scrambled from a single location 24hrs/day, every day of the year, that would mean at least six aircraft need to be purchased. Realistically, eight or ten fighters really be needed, and that would just provide a pair of hot pad fighters.

So, at this point the platform capability requirements have been identified, and the number of platforms required to provide the capabilities when needed are being identified. From here, funding is required to then purchase whatever the number of fighters indicated by the requirements, as well as sufficient stocks of parts, munitions and spares required to keep the platforms useful.

This is an area where I see some significant issues for AFP aspirations to re-enter figher jet operations. Going off of figures for recent fighter jet sales to other ASEAN nations, a budget of only $960 mil. is not going to go very far. Taking the Royal Thai Air Force purchase of Saab JAS-39 Gripen fighters as an example, it is/was estimated that each lot of six Gripens purchased cost ~$460 mil. with the total programme cost being higher since additional aircraft like Saab 340 AEW aircraft were purchased, as well as spares, training and support.

So, for an AFP budget of ~$960 mil. that would allow for purchasing only about a dozen Gripen fighters, including some spares and support training. Unfortunately, a dozen fighter jets is not going to provide any real fighter jet presence, especially in the event of hostilities.

Extrapolating further from that, it has been said that the initial purchase cost for a fighter aircraft is typically only a half to one third the overall cost of upkeep and operations for a fighter over its service life. That means if the AFP were to spend nearly $1 bil. to purchase fighters in the next couple of years, the AFP would also have to commit itself to on going funding for fighters over then next few decades of $1 - $2 bil. just to keep the fighters initially purchased operational and reasonably relevant.

Given the budgetary problems the AFP has been faced with, can it commit to this sort of funding requirement?

Lastly, I know I have been considering 'Western' fighter aircraft, and not including PRC or Russian aircraft, that is not an accident. While Russian fighters, particularly remanufactured examples of the MiG-29 might have a lower initial purchase cost than similar generation 'Western' fighters, they are also noted for having significantly higher on going operational costs and lower availability rates. Particularly when only operated in small numbers.

Another fighter purchase to use as an example is the RAAF purchase of F/A-18F Super Hornets. This purchase cost AUD$6 bil. for 24 fighters, and the price included the aircraft, training, anticipated parts, spares and support, as well as a weapons package and operations for ten years. Worth noting was that the advanced weapons package along was somewhere in realm of $600 mil. for PGM's.

So to recap, I suspect that if the AFP is serious about getting back into fighter jet operations, additional funding beyond $240 mil. per annum is going to be required and that careful consideration is needed to decide what, and how many, fighters the AFP wants and needs.

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Old June 22nd, 2011   #311
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Actually, this news on PAF acquiring either F18 or MiG29 really surprises us in Philippines Defense Forum. It has been problem for our Air Force to get enough budget to acquire a Bnew MRF and we were suggesting of just acquiring Israeli KFir jets instead inspite of its 3rd Generation Airframe design powered by J79 turbojet engine but with 4th gen Avionics & weapons system or acquire a LIFT like Aermacchi M346 or KAI Lockheed T/A-50 Golden Eagles... But since our President has find means to fund this acquisition (4th gen MRF) thru the proceeds from Malampaya Gas field then it might be possible...

With regards to Philippines capability to Aircraft Industry, yes we have lots of technical manpower to do that. Lufthansa Maintenance Company and Dornier Philippines has already establish here and operating with Filipino engineers. During the 90s, Philippines thru PADC managed to build a turboprop aircraft called Defender and its features if it were not shutdown will be comparable to Korean KT-1 or Embraer Super Tucano aircraft. Also we had a Helicopter project called Hummingbird and its prototype is in flying status but this was shutdown due to Asian Financial crisis back in 1997...

We have lots of very good technical engineers in all field like aeronautics, and maritime but there are no investors to tap these engineers, mechanics and designers. So lots of them go abroad and work there because there are no opportunities. One good example is the old Dornier Do-24 that has been on display in Germany is now in Flying Condition employing Filipino Engineers and designers to put this bird on flying status and actually toured around the world. Thanks to the grandson of original Dornier designer who invested in the Philippines and establish SEAIR Philippines in Subic as their base. The 3rd gen Dornier even had his own personal Alphajet here to fly around the area and joined some Philippines Airshows..
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Old June 25th, 2011   #312
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I have a question in the--Philippines does the annual defence budget include the procurement budget? or is the procurement budget sperate?
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Old June 26th, 2011   #313
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I have a question in the--Philippines does the annual defence budget include the procurement budget? or is the procurement budget sperate?
PAF to receive P14 billion for modernization
By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) Updated June 27, 2011 12:00 AM

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MANILA, Philippines - About P14 billion of the P40 billion allotted by Malacañang to upgrade military capability will go to the Philippine Air Force, PAF chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena said over the weekend.

Under its modernization plan, the PAF will acquire a long-range aircraft to patrol the country’s territorial waters.

Rabena said the P14 billion would be used to acquire radar and aircraft that would enhance the PAF’s patrol capability.

“Those in the lineup are air defense surveillance radars, surface attack aircraft – we call it close air support aircraft – combat utility helicopters... the total is P14 billion... over a period of five years,” he said.

These acquisitions would help the PAF conduct patrols and search and rescue operations and improve its ability to perform its mandate, Rabena said.

“(The acquisitions) will give us greater domain awareness, in what is happening in our territorial waters and in our territorial air space,” he said.

Last week, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the government is ready to implement a P40-billion military modernization project over the next five years starting 2012 to secure the country’s territory in the West Philippine Sea.

The government would allot P8 billion for the next five years for the Armed Forces modernization program to protect the country’s territory, he added.

The P8-billion annual funding for 2012 to 2016 is higher than the current modernization budget being allotted to the Armed Forces, which stands at P5 billion.

The Navy may get a huge slice of the funding, given the high costs of their equipment, said Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama.

The military is now finalizing the list of items it plans to purchase.

Meanwhile, House of Representatives appropriations committee chairman Joseph Abaya said the Armed Forces must be modernized since the military plays a key role in economic development.

Abaya is confident that the government would give attention to the military’s modernization efforts since it has taken a stance to assert its claims in the West Philippine Sea.

“There was not much measure on the AFP modernization program,” he said. “Perhaps Congress and the defense department need to work closer on this.”

Speaking at the Air Power Symposium in Pasay City Friday, Abaya, a retired Navy officer, said Congress should address the gaps of the AFP modernization program, especially those related to fund allocation.

“Considering the policy implementation shortfalls, Congress would have to amend the existing law or craft a new one to effectively implement the Modernization Act,” he said.

Only P31 billion had been spent for the program after more than 16 years, he added.

The AFP Modernization Act, which took effect in 1995, has given the military the opportunity to modernize in 15 years with a total fund of P331 billion.

More than 16 years have passed since the law was enacted.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said the administration is committed to reform the Armed Forces to help it carry out its mission.

“We all want the best for our country and want to help our people weather whatever storms that come their way,” he said.

“Today we have a commander-in-chief who is committed to providing you the support you need to allow you to perform your duties to the best of your abilities,” he added.

Ochoa issued the statement at the conclusion of the Air Power Symposium at the Mall of Asia last Friday.

“The reforms are part of the 16-point agenda President Aquino envisions to re-energize and transform a demoralized but dedicated military, police and civil servants to professional and motivated bureaucracies equipped with means to perform their public service missions,” he said.

Ochoa said the PAF is the most dependent on equipment among the Armed Forces services.

“It goes without saying that our pilots are some of the best in the world, whether they fly for the country or for a commercial airline,” he said.

“But no matter how great our pilots are, their capabilities can only be exploited if they have the equipment that can do them justice,” he said.

Ochoa said Aquino is aware of the need to upgrade the equipment and capabilities of the Armed Forces, noting that one of the priority bills Malacañang is pushing is seeking to extend the life of the military modernization program until 2025.

“This is to enable the military to develop and put in place capabilities that can address threats to national security,” he said.

“Part of this proposed measure authorizes the Department of National Defense and the AFP to forge contracts of sale, lease and joint venture involving real properties owned by the Armed Forces or pursue public-private partnerships in order to raise funds for the modernization program,” he said.

As chairman of the Cabinet cluster on security, justice and peace, Ochoa said he is committed to realizing and implementing the programs and reforms laid down by the President.

He cited military reforms that have been instituted by the administration, among them the comprehensive review of the financial management systems within the AFP to ensure the full implementation of the defense program and that funds earmarked for this purpose are spent judiciously.

Other reforms include the administration’s appropriation of P4.2 billion to build 20,000 houses for low-salaried members of the AFP and Philippine National Police, and the increase in the combat duty pay and incentive pay for officers and enlisted personnel. - With Delon Porcalla
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Old July 1st, 2011   #314
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Awesome news! Philippine Air Force to buy 6 fighter jets

"... baseline fighter jet costs between $23 to $40 million."

What will $40M buy, brand new?

Used F-16s has to be in consideration now. I'm good with used Mirages and F-16s!

No to Fulcrums and F-18s. If only Super Hornets were $40M though
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Old July 1st, 2011   #315
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Awesome news! Philippine Air Force to buy 6 fighter jets

"... baseline fighter jet costs between $23 to $40 million."

What will $40M buy, brand new?

Used F-16s has to be in consideration now. I'm good with used Mirages and F-16s!

No to Fulcrums and F-18s. If only Super Hornets were $40M though
They might be talking about the unit price and not counting the cost of support, spares, training, weapons etc.
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