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Philippines to sign aircraft contracts worth $700m

Published on Mar 21, 2014 7:17 PM

MANILA (REUTERS) - The Philippines will award aircraft contracts to South Korean and Canadian companies worth US$525.62 million (S$700 million), a senior defence official said on Friday, boosting its capability as tension simmers in the South China Sea.

The Philippines has embarked on a five-year, 75-billion-peso modernisation programme to boost its capability to defend its maritime borders against the creeping expansion of China in the South China Sea.

Fernando Manalo, undersecretary of defence for finance, munitions, installations and materiel, said the Philippines would acquire 12 brand-new FA-50 fighter-trainers and eight Bell 412 helicopters under a government-to-government deal.

"This is significant because we need to give our armed forces the minimum capability to perform its mission and responsibility," Manalo told reporters after completing negotiations with the two companies.

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