AFP have new aircraft for command-and-control mission

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led the turnover and blessing of a new C295M medium transport plane manufactured by Spain’s Airbus Defence and Space. The plane was delivered on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (Photo from the Philippine Air Force)

The Philippine Air Force (AFP) recieved their newest aircraft, C295M medium transport plane manufactured by Spain’s Airbus Defence and Space.

In a statement, Air Force spokesperson Maj. Aristides Galang said a handover and blessing ceremony was held at Clark Air Base in Pampanga with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana as the guest of honor.

The P1.8-billion aircraft is part of the AFP’s modernization program’s command-and-control fixed-wing turboprop procurement plan. It’s a new addition to the Air Force’s three operating C295 aircraft.

“From airlifting personnel and logistical supplies to projecting military force as well as providing humanitarian assistance and disaster response, air mobility has been an indispensable capability that the Philippine Air Force provides through the competency of our pilots, crew and the aircraft that we possess,” Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez was quoted as saying.

The aircraft would be assigned, as images show, to the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, the unit that provides transportation to the President and VIPs.

But the aircraft will also be used for operations of humanitarian assistance and disaster response, as well as troops and equipment transport.

Galang said the new aircraft’s first mission would be to transport troops and relief supplies to Mindanao’s quake-hit areas.

Lorenzana expressed interest in acquiring the same type of additional aircraft — “to further secure the maritime jurisdiction of the state.”

Another command-and-control aircraft, the Gulfstream G280, is expected by next August by the Air Force.

– Chris Figueroa

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