Philippine Defense chief thanks China for weapons donation

9:01:00 PM 2 Comments
MANILA, -- Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Wednesday expressed his gratitude to the People's Republic of China for giving the Philippines free weapons and ammunition which it can use in the ongoing battle against Maute Group terrorists in Marawi City.

"I am pleased to convey my gratitude to the People's Republic of China for the donation consisting of various rifles and ammunition amounting to around 50 million yuan turned over today (Wednesday), as well as for the long standing-partnership between our countries," he added.

The arms and ammunition was delivered at the Harrison Landing Zone, Clark Freeport, on board a two-cargo Ilyushin IL-76 military plane.

These consists of 3,000 rifles with 5 million ammunition and 90 long-range sniper rifles with 800,000 rounds.

The weapons were formally turned over by Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua to President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday.

The Chief Executive earlier said the firearms donation is one of the defense cooperation matters discussed by the People's Republic of China President Xi Jinping in his visit to China last October.

The latter is part of the military package to the Philippines, in relation with the emerging threat of terrorism and piracy in Mindanao.

"These rifles and ammunition are (a) welcome addition to the existing materiel in the arsenal of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Likewise, these will certainly improve the capabilities of our Armed Forces for the internal security operations particularly in the southern part of the country," the DND chief said.

He was referring to the six-week long conflict in Marawi City which has so far killed 299 of the terrorists and killed 70 government troops along with an estimated 27 civilians.

Fighting there started when military and police units tried to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader and ISIS "Emir" in Southeast Asia last May 23.

"On behalf of the Filipino people who are indeed the ultimate beneficiaries of Chinese magnamity, I accept this donation from the People's Republic of China with a deep sense of gratitude as well as a renewed sense of hope for our nation's safety and security," Lorenzana bared.

The Philippine Air Force personnel unload crates of rifles and ammunition given by China during a turnover ceremony at Clark Air Force Base in Pampanga Province, Philippines.

Handover Ceremony of Military Assistance Gratis from the People’s Republic of China 6/28/2017.

Philippine Air Force FA-50PHs Fighting Eagle Now Armed with Air-to-Ground Missiles

8:43:00 PM Add Comment
MANILA, -- The Philippine Air Force’s FA-50PHs Fighting Eagle displayed during its 70th founding anniversary celebration in Clark Air Base on July 4 were armed with inert AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground tactical missile (AGM) designed for close air support.

This was evidenced by FA-50PHs aircraft presented during the 70th anniversary celebration of Air Force held today in Clark Air Base. The said aircraft were also armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile and unguided Mark 82 low-drag general-purpose bomb.

Earlier today, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that a Philippine C-130 military transport aircraft flew to Arizona, United States to pick up munitions for PAF aircraft. The said C-130 left the country June 23 and was back July 1.

The Philippine Air Force FA-50PH 'Fighting Eagle' Fighter / Surface Attack / Lead-in Fighter Trainers (F / SA / LIFT) with tail numbers PH007 and PH002 from the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the Air Defense Wing armed with an AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missile, M117 unguided, general-purpose bomb that can also be configured with a low-drag tail fin for medium and high-altitude deliveries that has a nominal weight of 750 pounds (340 kg), and an inert/captive version of an AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground tactical missile (AGM) designed for close air support.

Thailand Proposes Blackhawk Procurement

8:19:00 PM 1 Comment
BANGKOK, -- The Royal Thai Army (RTA) has proposed the procurement of four additional Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the US government, RTA chief General Chalermchai Sitthisart confirmed on 29 June.

The procurement, if finalized, will be the first major US Defense sale to Thailand since the military coup in 2014. It is expected to be negotiated during Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's visit to Washington in July.

In comments reported by state-run news agencies, Gen Chalermchai said the funding for the purchase was approved by the Thai government in late 2016 and the deal is now progressing through US government channels.

The Royal Thai Army UH 60 Blackhawk medium-lift utility helicopter.