Philippine Air Force buys Mitsubishi air surveillance radars

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana has signed the Contract Agreement and Notice to Proceed for the Horizon 2 Air Surveillance Radar System (ASRS) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force, under a negotiated government-to-government procurement with Japan. The project, which has an Approved Budget for Contract of PHP 5.5 billion, was awarded to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO). The deal was initially due to be completed by May, but negotiations have stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The ASRS package includes three fixed long-range Air Surveillance Radars, each with building facilities and one mobile Air Surveillance Radar (Picture source: Philippine Air Force)

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.

This cooperation signifies Japan’s first time to export Japanese-made defense equipment under a restructured government policy, permitting sales of defense equipment. 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. Japan also provided used SDF training aircraft to the Philippines for free, but Tokyo has not exported any complete defense products.

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. 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 systems developed based on the JFPS3 and JTPS-P14 radars employed by the Self-Defense Forces will be provided to the Philippine Air Force. JFPS3 is capable of detecting approaching fighter jets and missiles, and is used as part of Japan’s defense system against North Korea’s missile threats. JTPS-P14 is an anti-aircraft radar system usually carried on vehicles. The Philippines is among several Asian countries that are involved in territorial disputes with China, which has been increasing its military presence in the South China Sea. Hence the acquisition of new equipment adapted to this threat.


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