Philippines to buy 12 S. Korean fighter jets amid maritime row with China
MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines will buy 12 South Korean FA-50 fighter jets to strengthen its poorly-armed military, government spokesmen said today, amid increasing maritime tensions with China.
The FA-50s will be the first fighter jets to be operated by the Philippine air force since it retired the last of its US-designed F-5 fighters in 2005, said President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Edwin Lacierda.
"We don't have any existing jets right now that are in use, therefore it is necessary for us to upgrade. This is part of the ongoing process of modernising our military hardware," he told reporters.
Lacierda said the jets would be used for "training, interdiction and disaster response" and would use their aerial cameras to survey areas.