US-Philippines in Talks for State-of-the-Art Multirole F-16s

The Philippines had made preparations to finalize a deal to acquire 14 JAS38 Gripen fighters manufactured by Sweden for approximately $1 billion this year. However, the United States government recently extended an offer to transfer a squadron of F-16 multirole fighters, which are considered top-of-the-line, to bolster the country’s minimum credible defense capability.

The U.S. and the Philippines recently held a Ministerial Dialogue in Washington, D.C., where they discussed several weapons systems, including the potential sale of multirole fighter aircraft to the Philippine Air Force. This is part of a broader effort to modernize shared defense capabilities between the two countries. The talks were described as “focused discussions,” and following the event, a fact sheet was released indicating that the two governments will prioritize the modernization of shared defense capabilities and focus on an acquisition plan for a fleet of multirole fighter aircraft for the Philippine Air Force.

The U.S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, had previously announced expanded U.S. troop access to four new bases in the Philippines, a strategically significant move given the country’s location in the southwest Pacific. The deployment of U.S. Air Force F-22s to the Philippines in March marked the first time fifth-generation aircraft had operated there. Additionally, over 17,000 U.S. troops are participating in the annual Balikatan exercise in the Philippines, which began recently.

The recent dialogue resulted in Austin and his Philippine counterpart, Secretary of National Defense Carlito Galvez, discussing completing a security sector assistance roadmap. This roadmap will support the delivery of priority defense platforms over the next five to 10 years, including radars, unmanned aerial systems, military transport aircraft, and coastal and air defense systems. This news is significant for the defense industry and highlights the ongoing partnership between the U.S. and the Philippines in strengthening their respective defense capabilities.

During a recent event between the United States and the Philippines, negotiations for the acquisition of multirole fighter aircraft for the Philippine Air Force were not directly mentioned by Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense. However, a fact sheet distributed after the event highlighted that both governments have agreed to prioritize the modernization of shared defense capabilities, including focused discussions on an acquisition plan for a fleet of multirole fighter aircraft for the Philippine Air Force.

Moreover, the fact sheet revealed that the two countries will leverage the additional $100 million in Foreign Military Financing, which was announced by the United States last fall, to support the acquisition of medium-lift helicopters.

Since at least June 2022, the Philippine Air Force has been seeking a dozen new multirole fighters, and former Philippine air chief Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas Sr. confirmed that the Islands have received proposals for U.S. F-16s and Swedish JAS-39 Gripens. Currently, the PAF’s primary fighter is the FA-50 trainer/light-attack jet from Korea.

In addition to the potential acquisition of multirole fighters and medium-lift helicopters, the Philippine government has ordered 32 Black Hawk helicopters in February 2022, as well as up to five new C-130J transport aircraft in 2021. The U.S. Air Force has also transferred C-130Hs to the PAF in recent years.

Leave a Comment

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock