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PH deploys patrol aircraft from Japan

/ 05:34 AM March 18, 2019

One of the TC-90 patrol aircraft donated by Japan to the Armed Forces sits on the tarmac. INQUIRER FILE

The Philippine Navy will start deploying this week one of five patrol aircraft donated last year by the Japanese government.

Tools, spare parts

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On Tuesday, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will formally receive Bell UH-1 helicopter spare parts and maintenance equipment from Japan.

On Monday, the Philippine Navy will activate one of the five Beechcraft King Air C-90 aircraft donated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).

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Philippine Navy spokesperson Lt. Sahirul Taib said the activation of the C-90 aircraft would be held on Monday at the Naval Air Group headquarters in Sangley Point, Cavite City.

Taib said the C-90 was donated by the JMSDF to the Philippines and included the equipment, tools and spare parts necessary to service the aircraft.

Initially leased

Japan would also provide training for the pilots and maintenance crew of the aircraft.

The five C-90 aircraft were initially leased to the Philippines for $28,000 annually under a five-year agreement between Japan and the Philippines for use in maritime patrols.

But when the delivery of the aircraft was completed in March 2018, the Japanese government opted to donate them instead under a grant agreement between the two countries’ defense ministers.

Turboprop plane

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The C-90 is a medium turboprop plane with a seating capacity for five persons and has a maximum range of 1,623.83 kilometers and speed of 391.07 kilometers per hour.

On Tuesday, UH-1 helicopter spare parts and maintenance equipment will be formally turned over by the Japanese Ministry of Defense to the PAF in ceremonies at Air Force City in Clark Air Base, Pampanga province.

“The items will be very much useful to PAF units with UH-1 helicopters such as the 505th Search and Rescue Group and the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing that conduct humanitarian assistance, disaster response and airlift operations,” according to PAF spokesperson Maj. Aristides Galang.

Spare parts for Huey

The assorted spare parts are for Bell UH-1 Iroquois, or Huey helicopters, which were offered by the Japanese government in 2017 to help keep the Philippine choppers flying.

The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force is replacing its fleet of UH-1 helicopters and will no longer need the spare parts.

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TAGS: military assets deployment, Philippine Air Force, Philippine Navy
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