MANILA -- The Japanese government has committed to provide spare parts and capacity fielding in maintaining the five Beechcraft King Air TC-90 patrol airplanes that it has donated to ensure that these are always operational, the Philippine Navy (PN) has said.
"Having assured of their unwavering support, I am confident that we will be able to operate, maintain and sustain the five TC-90s that will become relevant in achieving our goals of our Active Archipelagic Defense Strategy (AADS); pursuit of our vision that, by 2020, we shall be strong and credible that our maritime nation will be proud of," Navy flag-officer-in-command, Rear Adm. Robert Empedrad, said during the handover ceremony for three TC-90s in Sangley Point, Cavite City Monday.
Under the AADS, the Navy is planning to boost its maritime surveillance capability to fully secure the country’s territorial waters, which is among the largest in the world, and the TC-90s can help achieve this goal, Empedrad said.
The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized on Feb. 29, 2016.
The first two TC-90s were delivered to the Philippines on March 27, 2017 while the last three were handed over to the Navy on Monday.
The TC-90 has a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles, and a cruising speed of 226 knots and is capable of carrying eight passengers along with the pilot.
To date, the Navy is operating six Norman Britten "Islander" patrol aircraft, five AgustaWestland combat utility helicopters, and one Robinson R-22 training helicopter. (PNA)