AFP to get more equipment, aircraft next year – AquinoBy Katherine Evangelista
In his third state of the nation address at the House of Representatives, Aquino said that by the end of the year, the Armed Forces will receive 21 refurbished UH-1H helicopters, four combat utility helicopters, radio and other communication equipment, rifles, mortars, mobile diagnostic laboratories and station bullet assemble.
He added that by January 2013, BRP Ramon Alcaraz– the country’s second Hamilton Class cutter– will arrive in the Philippines.
“Di na bangkang papel ang ating ipapalaot; ngayon, mga hi-tech at de kaledad na barko na ang tatanod sa 36,000 kilometers nating coastline,” Aquino said.
(We are not sending paper boats out to sea. Now, our 36,000 kilometers of coastline will be patrolled by more modern ships.)
The BRP Ramon Alcaraz is a 45-year old vessel retired from service by the United States Coast Guard.
Likewise, $30 million funds from the United Stated for the Defense Capability Upgrade and Sustainment of Equipment Program for the AFP has also been approved.
“Bukod pa po ito sa tulong nila upang pahusayin pa ang pagmanman sa ating mga baybayin sa ilalim ng itatayong Coast Watch Center ng Pilipinas.
(This is in addition to their assistance in improving the way we patrol our shores under the Coast Watch Center of the Philippines, which will soon be established.)
He added that by 2013, 10 more attack helicopters, two naval helicopters, two light lift aircraft, one frigate and many force protection equipment are expected to arrive, Aquino said.