Philippines gets Japan surveillance planes to boost maritime security
March 26 2018 02:00 PM
TC-90 aircraft
A TC-90 aircraft


The Philippines on Monday received three additional TC-90 aircraft from Japan, which would be used to boost maritime security surveillance over the disputed South China Sea, the defence chief said.

"We must admit that much still has to be done to boost our military capability equipment in order to meet a number of persistent maritime security challenges," Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said at a handover ceremony for the planes.

The aircraft are among five TC-90s initially leased by Japan for 24,200 dollars per year. Two of the aircraft were transferred in March last year.

However, Japanese Defence Ministry officials subsequently signed an agreement with their Philippine counterparts donating the five aircraft to the military.

Lorenzana said the challenges "range from territorial disputes with China and other South-East Asian nations over the ownership of resource-rich islands in the West Philippines Sea, to piracy, movement of armed insurgent in the (southern) Sulu Sea, and other transnational crimes."

With the TC-90 planes' patrol range double that of existing aircraft of the Philippines, which only have a maximum range of 300 kilometres, Lorenzana said that "the maritime air surveillance and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance capability of the Philippine navy will also be enhanced."

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