MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would install one of the radar systems that would be delivered from Japan at the closed Matinloc gas platform located off Malampaya, Palawan near the West Philippine Sea.
"You see, we (decided that) the Matinloc platform (will) be assigned one of the radars coming from Japan to beef up our monitoring capability in the West Philippine Sea," AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Gilbert Gapay said in an online press conference with the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Tuesday.
Gapay said these radar systems from Japan would be used to beef up the country's maritime domain awareness capability.
"Aside from radars, we are also looking at Japan as a source of (in) developing our cyber (capabilities). This is one aspect we are focusing on now and I think we can partner with Japan in this area, cyber-defense and security which is also one of their thrusts of the Japan Self Defense Force," he said.
Gapay added that the AFP is also interested in beefing up its unmanned aerial systems capability with Japanese assistance.
Earlier, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that it has signed the contract agreement and notice to proceed with a Japanese firm regarding the Philippine Air Force (PAF)'s Horizon 2 Air Surveillance Radar System (ASRS) acquisition project.
The contract was signed by DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana last August 14, The project, which has an approved budget contract of PHP5.5 billion was awarded to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) with a total contract price of USD103.5 million (around PHP5 billion).
The ASRS is under a negotiated government-to-government procurement with Japan.
"This cooperation signifies Japan’s first time to export Japanese-made defense equipment under a restructured government policy, permitting sales of defense equipment, as long as it is deemed for the promotion of international peace," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong earlier said.
This is also the first defense equipment and technology cooperation project between the two countries in realization of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of Japan concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology signed in 2016.
The recommended ASRS sites will cover large areas of the Philippine Rise, southern areas of the country, and the southern portion of the West Philippine Sea.
Operations from these strategically vital locations will enable the PAF to provide optimal airspace monitoring, aircraft control, perform its air defense mission and enhance the security in areas of interest identified by the DND.
Specifically, the ASRS will help to detect, identify, and correlate any threats and intrusions within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and deliver radar images to decision-makers and relevant operating units.
The ASRS package includes three fixed long-range air surveillance radars, each with building facilities and one mobile air surveillance radar, and are expected to be delivered to the Philippines starting 2022. (PNA)