The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at the possibility of including more night-capable attack helicopters, precision guided missiles, drones and fast boats in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program’s Second Horizon.
DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that they are studying the possibility of including these platforms and weapons in the existing list of equipment which will be acquired in the Second Horizon.
“We are still studying this as [Second Horizon] has already existing list,” he added.
The study gained further impetus when President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that he wants the AFP to have more night-capable attack helicopters and fast boats to expedite the elimination of threats from the Abu Sayyaf Group and other lawless elements in Mindanao.
The AFP Modernization Program is divided into three horizons, with the first lasting from 2013 to 2017, the second from 2018 to 2022 and third 2023 to 2028. The Second Horizon calls for the acquisition of equipment more attuned to external defense missions and has a programmed funding of around PHP100 billion.
PAF 2016-2022 acquisition program (image : PAF)
During the First Horizon, the Philippine Air Force took the delivery of night-capable 8 AW-109E attack helicopters armed with two (left/right) machine gun pods with launchers for three 70 millimeter rockets, and number of combat utility helicopters.
Under this stage, contracts where also sealed for two Philippine Navy anti-submarine warfare AW-159 Lynx Wildcat helicopters and two brand-new Korean-made frigates.
First Horizon also saw the acquisitions of FA-50PHs, strategic sea-lift vessels, brand-new and refurbished military transport aircraft, land mobility assets, rifles, radars, assault amphibious vehicles, FPEs, among others. With these acquisitions, many were already delivered, while some are scheduled for delivery.