Philippines’ Naval Aviation Unit Bares Modernization Plans

Nov 2023

The Philippine Navy’s Aerial Unit disclosed modernization plans on its anniversary, including a move towards the procurement of new assets, in view of the growing security issues in the West Philippine Sea. These new assets will include maritime patrol aircraft, more anti-submarine warfare helicopters, and even unmanned aerial vehicles.

The acquisition plans will be budgeted under Stage 3 of the military’s modernization programs from 2023–2028. The Navy will be working on at least ten projects, ranging from improving existing assets to training simulators to the procurement of new aircraft to improve ISR and marine domain awareness. The execution period is projected to last between 2025 and 2033.

The Navy’s Aerial Unit anticipates starting fleet firepower upgrades in 2025 with its AgustaWestland AW109 helicopters, the purchase of R44 training helicopters, and improvements to intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance on Beechcraft King Air TC-90s given by the Japanese government.

The Navy also intends to acquire six additional anti-submarine warfare helicopters in 2026. The most ambitious proposal is to include seaplanes and anti-submarine fixed-wing maritime patrol aircraft in Philippine Navy aviation by 2027–2023. Amphibious Helicopter Medium, UCAVs, and the transfer of eight Beechcraft C12 Hurons from the United States are a few of the projects listed without a timeframe, although the Hurons will be transferred through the US-Philippines Sector Security Assistance Roadmap, which is a U.S. military assistance package that aims to enhance Manila’s military capabilities over a 5-10 year period via the delivery of “priority defense platforms.”

(Source: Naval News)

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