Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City – The Philippine Navy (PN) formally received two units of the Beechcraft TC90 training aircraft from Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD), in a transfer ceremony at the headquarters of the Naval Air Group (NAG) here earlier today.
The ceremony was witnessed by the National Defense Chief, Sec. Delfin N. Lorenzana along with his Japanese counterpart, State Minister of Defense, Kenji Wakamiya. A traditional water cannon salute was rendered to the aircraft as they were exiting from the taxiway to their designated parking.
TC90 aircraft are leased from JMOD for utilization of the PN to enhance its capability in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations, limited transport, and Maritime Domain Awareness including Maritime Air Surveillance and Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance.
The whole project, which involves five units of TC90s, is pursuant to the agreement between the Philippines and Japan signed in Manila on Feb. 29, 2016. The remaining three units are expected to arrive by the end of March 2018. The PN will temporarily lease the said aircraft amounting to 28,000 US Dollars per year while awaiting for the legal framework that would allow Japan to donate defense equipment to foreign countries.
In line with this, two NAG instructor pilots are currently undergoing TC90 transition for a pilot in command, test pilot and instructor pilot training in Tokushima, Japan while six more PN personnel composing the aircraft maintenance crew also underwent TC90 maintenance training in Sendai and Tokushima, Japan.
This acquisition is expected to boost the capability of the PN and enhance the capacity of its personnel primarily in conducting maritime security and sovereignty patrols, as the Navy stays true to its commitment to protect the seas and secure the nation’s future.