According to a report by the Philippine News Agency, the Philippines and Sweden are set to finalize a framework for defense material acquisition. In a meeting between the Department of National Defense (DND) chief Carlito Galvez Jr. and Swedish Ambassador to the Philippines Annika Thunborg, the Philippines’ defense modernization efforts were discussed, with a particular focus on the priorities of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to enhance its surveillance and interdiction capabilities.
Among the key topics discussed during the meeting was Sweden’s offer to supply Saab-made JAS-39 “Gripen” multi-role fighters (MRF) to the Philippines. This was also discussed during a meeting between the DND officer in charge Jose Faustino Jr. and Thunborg in December 2022. The JAS-39 “Gripen” is one of the two jet fighters the PAF is interested in acquiring to meet its MRF requirement.
The MRF project requirements state that the aircraft offered must be “fourth generation or higher” and that at least 12 MRFs should be capable of patrolling the country’s protected waters and airspace. The selected aircraft must also be able to integrate with existing radar systems that have a range of approximately 250 nautical miles.
According to DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, the relationship between the Philippines and Sweden is good, with both countries having partnered for peace works. The report did not provide any further details on when the framework for defense material acquisition is expected to be finalized or when the procurement process for the MRFs will begin.
(Source: Philippine News Agency)