U.S. in ‘Targeted’ Talks to Supply Multirole F-16s to Philippines

U.S. and Philippine officers will maintain “targeted discussions” about promoting the Philippine Air Pressure multirole fighter plane—one in every of a number of weapons programs the 2 international locations mentioned throughout a latest dialogue. 

The talks are a part of the U.S.-Philippines Ministerial Dialogue on April 11, the place Secretary of Protection Lloyd J. Austin III and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken welcomed their counterparts to Washington, D.C.  

Austin introduced throughout a February go to to the Philippines expanded U.S. troops’ entry to 4 new bases within the nation, which is strategically necessary given its location within the southwest Pacific. U.S. Air Pressure F-22s deployed to the Philippines in March, the primary fifth-generation plane ever to function there. And greater than 17,000 U.S. troops are collaborating within the annual Balikatan train within the Philippines, which began this week. 

In a press convention after the two+2 conferences, Austin stated he and Philippine Secretary of Nationwide Protection Carlito Galvez mentioned “near-term plans to finish a safety sector help roadmap to help the supply of precedence protection platforms over the following 5 to 10 years, together with radars, unmanned aerial programs, army transport plane, and coastal and air protection programs.” 

Austin didn’t point out negotiations for fighters, however a truth sheet distributed after the occasion stated the 2 governments will “prioritize the modernization of shared protection capabilities,” particularly “targeted discussions on an acquisition plan for a fleet of multirole fighter plane for the Philippine Air Pressure.”

It additionally stated the 2 would additionally leverage “the extra $100 million in International Navy Financing that the USA introduced final fall to help the acquisition of medium-lift helicopters.” 

The Philippine Air Pressure has been available in the market for a dozen new multirole fighters since a minimum of June 2022, when then-President Rodrigo Duterte permitted a plan. On the time, former Philippine air chief Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas Sr. stated the Islands saought a fourth-generation fighter, having obtained proposals for U.S. F-16s and Swedish JAS-39 Gripens.

The PAF’a main fighter as we speak is the FA-50 coach/light-attack jet from Korea. 

The Philippine authorities ordered 32 Black Hawk helicopters in February 2022 and as many as 5 new C-130J transport plane in 2021. The U.S. Air Pressure has additionally transferred C-130Hs to the PAF in recent times.