• Knowing the Philippine Army's BO-105 Helicopters

    These donated helicopters operated by the Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment provides much needed field support, especially on medevac-related evacuation and other logistical concerns.

  • Updates on the PAF's C-130J-30 Super Hercules Aircraft

    The Philippine Air Force, for the first time, sets to have at least three (3) brand new cargo aircraft from Lockheed Martin, which is done through a commercial deal between the two entities.

  • Phil. Army's Armored Vehicle-Launched Bridge Project

    This AVLB with a Merkava IV chassis serves as the first platform of such type for the Philippine Army to use, and may set as a reference for the service branch’s future armored vehicle plans and programs later on.

  • Navantia's Submarine Offer to the Philippine Navy

    The Spanish shipbuilder has offered its submarine offer for the Philippine Navy's submarine project. How will it fare compare to its competitors like France's Naval Group and South Korea's Hanwha Ocean?

  • Knowing the AW-109 Helicopter of both PAF and PN

    Both the Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Navy possess this type of helicopter that basically define as a first step towards a more capable Armed Forces, implemented during the First Horizon of the AFP Modernization Program.

  • The Phil. Army's Interest on the FGM-148 Javelin ATGM

    The Philippine Army is improving its firepower capabilities, and it witnessed the performance brought by this anti-tank missile during the Balikatan 2023 Exercises. Now they are considering it for their systems.

  • Know More About Us

    Just kindly click this link to understand more about our resolve of providing knowledge and perspective in relation to the Philippine defense and other related topics or discussions.

PDA 2020 Year-End Summary and Review

As the year ends, let us review and summarize all of the contents that have been written on our website from January up to date as we discussed possible procurement prospects, ongoing projects, defense-related developments, and other matters which may get expounded further as the year 2021 sets in.

Hence, here are the articles that have been written for the year 2020.

Our website as of December 31, 2020
As of date, there are eighteen (18) articles written on this website for the year 2020 excluding this content wherein it covered multiple defense procurement projects and prospects that are relevant and helpful in improving the capabilities of all branches within the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as well as with other agencies such as those within the Philippine Coast Guard (with content about the Philippine National Police may get added by next year).

Here are those articles were written which may help accessible through this summary and also for easier referencing of the compilation of contents that were added within this year. Note that the months indicate the period each article was published on this website.


1. Indonesian APS-3 Panser Anoa 6x6 Armored Personnel Carrier for the Philippine Army? 
PT Pindad Panser Anoa Philippine Army
Indonesian-made Armored Personnel Carrier offered to the
Philippine Army. 
Obtained via Wikimedia Commons.
This is PT Pindad's offer to the Philippine Army for its Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier program in the hopes that it will bag the contract along with the Harimau Hitam Medium Tank which is for another Philippine Army project, referring to the Light Tank Acquisition Project.

As of December 31, this platform was lost to a competitor which is Elbit Systems whose offer came in the form of a Brazilian-made IVECO VBTP-MR Guarani 6x6 Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier will be tackled along with this summary, in the same way, that PT Pindad lost to this similar Israeli-based manufacturer with regards to the Light Tanks wherein the Sabrah Tank option was chosen (a separate discussion will be provided for Elbit's Sabrah Tank offer to the Philippine Army).

More information on the link here.

2. The Idea of having AGM-84 Harpoon Missiles in the Philippine Air Force
AGM-84 Harpoon Missile Philippine Air Force
An AGM-84 Harpoon Missile fitted onboard a U.S. Navy F-18 aircraft.
Image Source.
This discusses Boeing's offer of an air-based, anti-ship missile for the Philippine Air Force in line with its another offer - the AH-64 Apache Helicopters that participated in the Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project which was approved for sale by the United States through its DSCA report, although it was lost to the T-129 ATAK Helicopter of the Turkish Aerospace Industries which is currently plagued with problems due to U.S. CAATSA against Turkey on their sale of S-400 air defense systems from Russia.

The marketing pitch provided is in augmentation with another Air Force project which is the Multirole Fighter Jet Program wherein the likes of F-16 Viper is preferred, wherein this missile is compatible with the aircraft as plug and plays given that both are produced by two American defense and aerospace companies that are also designed in having interoperability within the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Currently, there is little information since this development and it is most likely be nothing more of a marketing pitch by Boeing, with uncertainties also lying ahead for the Philippine Air Force Multirole Fighter Acquisition Project.

More information on the link here.

3. The Necessity of Having Military Cargo Platforms for Logistics and HADR Operations
A non-combatant platform such as the BRP Davao del Sur (LD-602) is
just as essential as other firepower-capable warships that the
Philippine Navy obtains. 
Image from DVIDSHUB.
This discussion only highlights the importance of cargo logistic platforms in which goes hand in hand with combatant platforms in attaining the primary objective which is to accomplish what the mission and its requirements want to achieve.

Logistics platform varies from Combat Utility Helicopters and Airlift Cargo Aircraft of the Philippine Air Force to the Landing Platform Docks and Landing Craft Units of the Philippine Navy, as well as Utility Trucks and Armored Personnel Carriers of the Philippine Army.

These assets are also useful for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response operations as the country is ravaged by multiple instances of Typhoons and Earthquakes, rendering several citizens affected helpless and in need of immediate necessities as the recovery process ensues in time.

More information on the link here.

4. How Really Important PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement is for the Philippine National Defense?
US-Philippine troops KAMANDAG 3
Both the troops from the United States and the Philippines have
participated in exercises like those for KAMANDAG 3 as specified
in the image above. 
This article simply talks about the advantages and disadvantages of an alliance with the United States has especially in terms of defending one after the other as stipulated in the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

This comes as the current administration gives threat to ending the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement which in itself is essential in augmenting the Mutual Defense Treaty into effect, as well as another agreement which is EDCA or the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement that also helps to improve the defense of the country as the Modernization efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines is in effect.

The details are written in an article here.


5. The Jose Rizal-class Frigates taking Shape
Jose Rizal Frigate ADAS 2018
The ship's design is presented in ADAS 2018. Image obtained via
Wikimedia Commons.
It refers to the developments that took place for the two most sophisticated vessels the Philippine Navy may have to date, which are the BRP Jose Rizal FF-150 and the BRP Antonio Luna FF-151.

Both of the ships, at the time of the article, are in the process of finalization and test trials that ensure the performance of both vessels are within the requirements set and also its final form being refined before being delivered to the end-user amidst the issue surrounding its subcomponents, notably with its Combat Management System.

At the time of this writing, the BRP Jose Rizal FF-150 have already entered service within the Philippine Navy, with the ship's commissioning into active service took place around July 2020 with the BRP Antonio Luna expected to enter service by the first quarter of the year 2021.

More information about the article here.


6. List - Military Assets Provided by the United States to the Philippines
Things in the list include this C-130 Cargo aircraft that carries
troops, equipment, and relief goods in areas of concern such
as combat zones and disaster-stricken areas. 
(c) Kit Agad, Jetphotos.
The article simply provided a list of military assets that the United States provided to the Philippines from the 1950s where it was a newly independent nation that still recovering from the Second World War until the present at the time the article was published as most of the platforms in service within the Armed Forces of the Philippines were originated from the United States as either new or used platforms utilized by a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces such as the Del Pilar-class Offshore Patrol Vessels which were once known as the Hamilton-class cutters of the United States Coast Guard.

Take note that also came with offers like the AGM-84 Harpoon missile aforementioned above as well as other prospective offers like the ones for AH-1Z Viper and AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopters, and the F-16 Viper offered for the Philippine Air Force Multirole Fighter Acquisition Program.

The details in the list can be seen on the link here.

7. Summary of the President's Press Conference on COVID-19
This scenario involves CBRNE Capabilities or things that involve
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive matters.
Image obtained from DVIDSHUB.
It only provided important details at the time the article was published as the country plunged down into respective community quarantines and restrictions as inflicted by the COVID-19 Coronavirus which have rendered the country's economic activities at a standstill.

More information on the link here.

8. South Korean KT-1 Woongbi for the Philippine Air Force?
KAI KT-1 Philippine Air Force.
This is an aircraft produced by Korean Aerospace Industries,
the same manufacturer of the FA-50PH that the Philippine
Air Force obtains.
Made by the same manufacturer that produces the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainer of the Philippine Air Force, the KT-1 Woongbi is aspired by the Korean Aerospace Industries or KAI to be its candidate for the Basic Trainer Acquisition Program of the Philippine Air Force,  with the aims of cementing KAI's foothold in the Philippine Defense Market.

Take note that the Philippine Air Force obtains its own fleet of SIAI/Marchetti SF-260 as its own trainer aircraft in which platforms like the KT-1 Woongbi may be seen as an ideal candidate for this specialized type of air platform.

As of date, there are currently no updates with regards to this development although that does not mean that it doesn't push through.

Additional details of the platform can be seen here.


9. The Importance of Having CBRNE Defense Capabilities In The Armed Forces
This is what CBRN Military capability is like.
Image Source.
With the pandemic ravaging a nation's economy and its citizen's way of life, a discussion regarding CBRNE or a nation's defense against Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive threats became a highlighted topic as units specialized in this field aims to fight and deter such kind of scenario involving other forms of harmful material that is not necessarily done in conventional combat.

In this topic, it was also shown with regards to the importance of such unit at the times that they were needed such as in the current pandemic situation as it requires a different approach in dealing with the situation rather than the usual firepower that conventional combat usually brought on.

The details about this topic are available in the link here.

10. Knowing the Soon-to-Have Kunigami-class Multirole Response Vessels of the Phil. Coast Guard
Philippine Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard, 94-meter cutter, Kunigami-class.
The type of vessel that the Philippine Navy seeks out for its fleet. 
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
The Philippine Coast Guard is soon to have a larger vessel in its fleet than the one it currently obtains, in which these 94-meter vessels will derive from the ones currently in service within the Japanese Coast Guard (as seen in the image above).

Construction of these vessels will be done by Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Ltd, a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries which is known to built multiple civilian and military vessels particularly for the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, Japan Coast Guard, and also for Japanese maritime companies which cement their reputation in the shipbuilding business.

Currently, the largest vessel in service within the Philippine Coast Guard is the French OCEA-produced BRP Gabriela Silang OPV-8301 which was launched in July of 2019.


11. The Idea of Having Dedicated Hospital Ships in the Philippine Navy
The KRI Semarang, a Semarang (Tarlac-designed)-class Landing
Platform Dock was designed to be a hospital ship in service
within the Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL). 
Image Source.
Still, with the Coronavirus Pandemic, the idea of having hospital ships are in the picture as a civilian shipping line lends its vessels as an isolation area for quarantine although this was shown disadvantages in that idea as the environment inside a vessel make it more contagious for this option to consider.

On the other hand, the idea of having these platforms are helpful in times of combat as wounded troops have an offshore platform that will help cope with healing their body from the stress and destruction of the battlefield which makes these assets a morale booster and a guarantee of survival for the soldiers get fit once again into combat to fight another day against threatening elements of the nation.

Just like the Tarlac-class Landing Platform Docks that the Philippine Navy obtains, these hospital ship platforms are also helpful for Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response operations as medical services may get available for citizens affected by natural calamities that render local clinics and hospitals partly or fully inoperable, if not filled with a surging amount of patients that these platforms serve as an augmentation of medical facilities.

For more information, kindly check the details of the article here.

12. The Prospects in Boeing's Push for AH-64 Apache Helicopters in the Philippine Air Force
This platform is being looked like one of the preferred candidates
for the Philippine Air Force Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project.
Image Source.
Provided in a DSCA notice along with AH-1Z Viper, the AH-64 Apache Helicopters obtain the opportunity for Boeing to provide as a candidate for the Philippine Air Force's Attack Helicopter Acquisition Program which is also being completed by Turkish Aerospace Industries' T-129 ATAK Helicopter.

The article detailed its capabilities, specifications, and weapons fitted in which it will mean a lot for the country's Close Air Support capabilities shall this platform be considered during the time this content was published.

Currently, the Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project was bagged by Turkish Aerospace Industries who obtain the promise of delivering these assets even though their platforms obtain an issue in securing its engine all thanks to the current sanctions that the United States imposed against the country under CAATSA or Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, primarily aimed against Russia.

For more information about the platform itself, kindly access it through a link here.


13. Boeing's AH-6i Light Attack Helicopters and the Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment
This helicopter may soon comprise the Philippine Army
Aviation Regiment shall this be considered. 
Obtained via Wikimedia Commons.
With the Philippine Army forming a new aviation regiment as part of its re-organization setup alongside with those of the army artillery regiment (which may obtain the Land-Based Missile Systems or LBMS and the Multiple-Launched Rocket Systems or MLRS later on), this service branch seeks to have additional air assets that will supplant its own close air support operations alongside assets that the Philippine Air Force currently operates.

This development came with the idea of having AH-6i Light Attack Helicopters which is basically an improved variant of the MD-500 series, of which MD-520MG that the Philippine Air Force obtain is also part of which both share the same design attributes and also several subcomponents that may render it compatible between one another.

Currently, there are few updates about this development although it remains to be seen as to whether this project pushes through as it goes with the needed assets for the Philippine Army's Aviation Regiment to operate with such capabilities on hand.

Additional details about the platform can be seen in an article link here.


14. Knowing the Philippine Air Force A-29 Super Tucano Close Air Support Aircraft
A-29 Super Tucano Afghanistani Air Force
An Afghanistani Air Force A-29 Super Tucano Close Air Support Aircraft.
Obtained via Wikimedia Commons.
This year, the Philippine Air Force received all six of its A-29 Super Tucano Close Air Support Aircraft from Brazil in what was considered its maiden flight that traverses from Brazil's Sao Paulo to the Philippine's Subic, passing through multiple stops along the way as it traveled along the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Mediterranean to Egypt, then through the Middle East and India, until it passed through Thailand and Vietnam as the last two checkpoints, totaling thirteen refueling/reprovisioning points along the way.

These A-29s obtain will currently augment the existing OV-10 Broncos in the inventory until such time that a sufficient number of such platforms will be procured, replacing these older close air support aircraft outright.


15. Glancing the Philippine Air Force's Recent C-130 Purchases
Image Source: Jetphotosairfirghters.com website
The Philippine Air Force aims to have additional airlifters in its fleet alongside existing platforms that comprise its 220th Airlift Wing composed of currently-serviceable C-130s and C-295s that were purchased under the Revised AFP Modernization Program or R.A. 10349.

The procurement option ranges from refurbished U.S. Military aircraft down to brand new C-130J-30 stretched cargo aircraft in which its funding was secured and is slated to be materialized in 2021 shall things proceed accordingly to their planning timeline.

This development is as essential as others given that these cargo aircraft carry supplies and personnel that are needed not only in combat but also in peacetime especially in HADR operations or Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response.


16. The Iveco VBTP-MR Gurani 6x6 Armored Vehicle and the Elbit Offer to the Philippine Army
A set of  VBTP-MR Guarani Armored Personnel Carriers
in a Brazilian Army Parade. Obtained from Wikimedia Commons.
This platform was chosen for the Wheeled Armored Personnel Carrier project of the Philippine Army, effectively augmenting existing ones such as the GKN Simba and V-150 Cadillac Gage Commando.

The platform was built by an IVECO factory in Brazil in collaboration with Brazil's Army Technology Center in which produces such armored vehicles for the Brazilian Army, with exports being in Argentina and Lebanon alongside the current orders that the Philippine Army recently made which renders them the fourth (4th) user of such platform across the world.

Having these vehicles, with the help of Elbit which is a contributor to this project, gives a significant gain for the Army's capabilities especially in protecting its troops into combat with counterinsurgency operations still being a thing in the country.

17. Discussing the Philippine Air Force's C-295 Medium Lift Aircraft Fleet
One of the C-295 Medium Lift Aircraft that the
Philippine Air Force obtain. 
Copyright provided on the image.

Alongside the C-130s and F-27 Fokker Friendship aircraft, the 220th Airlift Wing also obtains these newer cargo aircraft coming in the form of C-295 Medium Lift Aircraft which was produced by Airbus Military through EADS-CASA in Spain.

Augmenting the two different airlift platforms, the C-295 is useful in both combat and Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response operations as it decreases the cargo load that was once primarily assigned to the C-130s that the Philippine Air Force still obtains until the present, in which it will be added more in the previous article aforementioned.

Eventually, these sets of aircraft may replace the aging F-27 along the way as the older platform gets more expensive to maintain, as well as there goes the idealistic option that the Philippine Air Force may consider the Maritime Patrol Aircraft version of the C-295 as it is one of the candidates for the Long-Range Patrol Aircraft Acquisition Project.

For more information, kindly check the information on this link here.


18. Understanding the Philippine Navy's Beechcraft TC-12 "Huron" Aircraft Acquisition Plan
The United States Navy has said to have this fleet of Beechcraft TC-12 Hurons retired from service.
Image courtesy of King Air Nation.

As the final article entry of the year for Pitz Defense Analysis, this entry discusses the Philippine Navy's plan of procuring TC-12 Hurons from the United States which goes similar to the TC-90 King Airs that the service branch obtained from Japan through a donation in original transaction terms being a lease.

Additional platforms like these are meant to supplement maritime patrol aircraft that the Philippine Navy needs in monitoring the country's maritime domain, especially with the Naval Air Wing increasing its capabilities further along the way. Take note that this is different from the Long-Range Patrol Aircraft project of the Philippine Air Force although it attains a similar objective of monitoring maritime domain with the air force version having more loitering time.

Check the article link here to know more about this acquisition plan.

Here, we complete the 18 articles that were published for the year 2020 here on the PDA website. It comes with hopes, dreams, and aspirations that more updates will be coming out with existing assets will be discussed on this website as the year 2021 approaches fast with new developments, discussing Philippine military and defense topics in detail.

For our readers, we may wish a prosperous, healthier, and better New Year 2021 with a positive mindset, better well-being, and a humanistic principle to one and all.

(c) 2020 PDA.

Understanding the Philippine Navy's Beechcraft TC-12 "Huron" Aircraft Acquisition Plan

The Philippine Navy obtain its own aviation unit which aims to enhance its duties and responsibilities of protecting the country's maritime domain from any threats that are taking place within the jurisdiction, augmenting the branch's surface vessels that conducting patrols and other maritime defense-related operations conducted therein.

Given their instilled duties and responsibilities, it is worth noting that the Philippines as a country consists of multiple islands spanning from Luzon to the north all the way to Mindanao in the south in which bodies of water surround these islands, rendering the needed boost in capabilities that solutions may get provided in the form of adding more air platforms into its array of tools to enhance the Navy's coverage in patrolling the country's waters.

The United States Navy has said to have this fleet of Beechcraft TC-12 Hurons retired from service.
Image courtesy of King Air Nation.
On a Friday of November 20, 2020, the Philippine Navy is checking on the possibility of acquiring eight units of Beechcraft TC-12 Huron military turboprop aircraft which will increase the capabilities of its own aviation unit which is the Naval Air Wing or NAW as which has been reported in detail by the country's state-owned news outlet Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Take note that the Philippine Navy's Naval Air Wing as a unit is an expanded organization after its status as a unit was raised from what it was once called the "Naval Air Group" or NAG in 2019 which operates AW-109 Power utility helicopters, the newer and more-capable AW-159 "Wildcat" Anti-submarine helicopters, and the donated C-90 (or also known as the TC-90) King Air utility aircraft from Japan.

Given the provided report, it is said that the procurement of these assets will be done through the United States Excess Defense Articles, a program of the United States government through the Defense Security Cooperation Agency or DSCA which aims to provide excess defense equipment, as what its name says, to foreign governments especially to countries that are seen as partners of the United States such as the Republic of the Philippines.

This move is seen as one of the examples of the United States giving military aid that helps the Philippines modernize its Armed Forces under the current Revised AFP Modernization Program or R.A. 10349, a strong signal in the sense of affirmed, a fully-bonded friendship between allies since the Philippines' independence from the United States in 1946, alongside the commitments instilled on the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

In this discussion, the details will be tackling this platform as well as its development as well as the company that manufactures it, as well as its specifications which may go hand in hand with the other assets that the Naval Air Group obtains in its inventory, especially with the donated C-90s given that this platform shares similarity to this topic since it is also produced by the same manufacturer.

Beechcraft is an entity of Textron Aviation that specializes more in small, rotary aircraft.
Screengrab Source.
Beechcraft is a subsidiary of Textron Aviation which specializes in these smaller-sized aircraft such as the King Air Aircraft that the Philippine Navy currently uses and is also the future platform that the service branch will be based on with regards to its design cue which will be covered along with this discussion.

Given its current corporate setup, Beechcraft became what it is today as a subsidiary of a company that holds other aviation segments like Cessna and Bell Helicopters in which the company was acquired by Textron, Inc. from Beech Holdings, LLC six years ago on March 14, 2014, when they announced that development wherein it formed the backbone of Textron Aviation Business Segment.

While Textron's acquisition of Beechcraft was recent news, the history of the company traces back to the early 1930s when Walter and Olive Ann Beech established it as a small aviation company named Beech Aircraft Company with Walter having prior experiences involving aircraft construction as he built planes on a prior-established company forged in partnerships which was the Travel Air Manufacturing Company together with Lloyd Stearman and Clyde Cessna.

The company grew a lot especially during the Second World War and the Korean War wherein aircraft orders were increased as the military-industrial complex of that time increases the output of various assets with multiple uses that are essential for the war effort, until they produce multiple variants of small turboprop aircraft like the King Air, catering both military and civilian sectors.

Beechcraft was then acquired by the Raytheon Company on February 8, 1980, in which the company produced aircraft like the T-6 Texan II Trainer Aircraft which are used as a primary training platform for end-users such as the United States Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Mexican Air Force. 

Before Textron's sale of the company, it was taken note that Raytheon at one point sold the company to Goldman Sachs along with Onex Corp in a 2006 deal which was formed into the Hawker Beechcraft Company until it declared bankruptcy in 2013 which it was replaced by a resurgent Beechcraft Corporation that produces primary products like the T-6 Texan Trainer Aircraft and King Air Utility Aircraft.

To sum it up, there was the original Beech Aircraft Company that produces both civilian and military-lenient aircraft wherein it grew with the wars and improved further under Olive Ann's leadership until it went under multiple ownerships which ended up to the current status as the subsidiary of the larger Textron Aviation segment, defining its ups and downs as a company and is still operational as a business unit up to the present date.

This is one of the donated TC-90 King Air aircraft that the Philippine Navy received from Japan.
(c) Ryu Guji, Jetphotos.
In connection to the plans of the Philippine Navy to pursue the plans of procuring the Beechcraft TC-12 Hurons into its inventory under the Naval Air Wing from the United States, this discussion for the Japanese-donated Beechcraft TC-90 King Air aircraft (as seen on the image above) goes with relevance as it shares the design, manufacturer, and intended purpose within the military unit.

The proposal for the Japanese to provide these platforms for the Armed Forces of the Philippines started in 2015 wherein they are looking forward to donating their TC-90 King Air aircraft which was considered at that time as a primary training platform for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces or JSDF to use, with the similar intention providing into the Philippine Navy's desire of improving its capability of maritime patrol by familiarizing the platform before proceeding into more sophisticated ones like the P-3C Orion.

Then it goes along through the year 2016 wherein the Philippine Government under the then-Aquino administration and their Japanese counterparts finalize a deal that involves the "lease" of five Beechcraft TC-90s from Japan for the Philippine Navy's then Air Naval Group or NAG to use, in which the first two platforms were received by the Philippine Navy a year later on March 27, 2017.

After the delivery of the first two platforms, there was an amendment with the Japanese law that allows donations of military assets to other countries such as the Republic of the Philippines which render the original "leased" Beechcraft TC-90s as "newly-donated assets" in which it significantly provides the Philippine Navy its maritime surveillance capabilities, highlighting the good relations between the Philippines and Japan with regards to this area of development.

In the same year that the first two platforms were delivered to the country, the Philippine Navy activated the first unit of the once-leased, newly-donated TC-90 King Air surveillance aircraft from Japan months later in November of 2017 as it bears the tail number 390, paving the way for more aircraft of a similar type to enter in active service within the Philippine Navy.

In completing the agreed number of units of five (5) Beechcraft TC-90 King Air planes from Japan, the delivery of the remaining three (3) units of this platform took place a year later on March 26, 2018, wherein the transfer was formalized when it took place in the Philippine Navy main base in Sangley Point, Cavite, completing up the numbers of such aircraft in the inventory with one of those delivered was activated two months later in May of 2018, bearing tail number 394 (as imaged above).

With the similarities that may share between the Beechcraft TC-90 King Air patrol aircraft donated from Japan and its TC-12 Huron cousin, it is worth noting that the pool of Pilots and Maintenance Personnel were sufficient enough for the Philippine Navy's then Naval Air Group (now named as Naval Air Wing) as they took extensive training on repair, maintenance, and operations of the aircraft which are deemed useful shall this acquisition push through.

The aircraft was first introduced when Beechcraft was still an independent aerospace company before the Raytheon Company decided to acquire it in 1980. Screengrab source.
Additional information: Crew onboard comes with 1 to 2 personnel.
Supplementary references for the specifications can be seen here.

The table seen above provides the information with regards to the TC-12 Huron aircraft produced by Beechcraft which is still being produced and in service to several civilian customers and five military operators as provided in the details with the United States being the largest user base of these aircraft, qualifying it at the Philippine procurement level which will not be a concern here since the deal involves a government-to-government approach through the U.S. Excess Defense Articles Program or EDA.

As expected for non-combative platforms like the TC-12 Huron, it does not come with military weaponry onboard although it may be fitted with sensors at the discretion of the Philippine Navy since it may get opted for ISR or Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations which goes alongside its other roles such as Search and Rescue and small cargo platform at times of natural calamity through its Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response.

As for its design, it is well understood that the donated Beechcraft TC-90s from Japan to the Philippine Navy and the planned TC-12 Huron Acquisition sees similarities in its structure since the latter is basically a variant of the Model 200 Super King Air which in itself is a stretched version of the TC-90 King Air that the Naval Air Wing currently operates which is seen as advantageous from the commonality on operations, skills and spare parts point of view.

Knowing the TC-12 Huron's development design is also knowing TC-90's historical development wherein both share the very history of its primary creation which has started in the early 1960s when Beechcraft,  still the Beech Aircraft Corporation, started test flights on what is seen as its development of a twin-turboprop aircraft that may help propel their prospective sales as this platform helps the company grow much like its other products that have produced since its inception up until the present, spanning multiple ownerships.

The first test flight of a Model 90 King Air took place on January 20 of year 1964 which has set the precedent for Beechcraft to introduce this aircraft to the market several months later, starting with the Type Certificate it received from FAA on May 7, 1964,  and its initial price set by Beechcraft on June 8, 1964, at $320,000 per unit or $2,665,612.05 in today's money, adjusted for inflation.

As for the Model 200 of this family of aircraft made by Beechcraft that later became the C-12 Hurons of different variants, the development started in the late 1960s down to the early 1970s wherein the first flight of such aircraft took place on October 27, 1972, of which this T-designed tail King Air (as opposed to the original TC-90 design) went on as the best-selling version of King Airs throughout Beechcraft's operations.

The variants of C-12s came in two forms - the C-12A variant which was utilized by the United States Air Force and the United States Army which was entered active service in the year 1974 - two years after its first flight, and the C-12B variant which was used by the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps as personnel and utility aircraft and is definitely the one that the Philippine Navy may end up obtaining through this possible acquisition.

With primary information coming from Francis Karem Elazegui Neri (reference here)
Here show different naval aviation assets that the Naval Air Wing of the Philippine Navy currently uses in its operations. Image Courtesy of the Naval Air Wing Facebook Page.
The Naval Air Wing once called the Naval Air Section, was founded on October 7, 1947, as a unit within the Philippine Air Force, which was then called the Offshore Patrol in which its personnel primarily consisted of Philippine Air Force and Philippine Naval Patrol personnel led by-then Air Force CAPTAIN CONDRADO C CHUIDIAN JR, setting the foundation into this unit that still operates up to this day.

A Stinson L-5 Sentinel (may be mistaken by the referenced author as the Piper L-5), was the first aircraft served in this newly-formed group and is worthy to be noted that such aircraft was first deployed in 1941 - a year when the United States started its full involvement in the Second World War which it went operational a year later, serving the Armed Forces fully until right after the war and serve in the United States Air Force more until 1955.

The second aircraft that the Naval Air Group obtained after the L-5 Sentinel is the Boeing PT-13 Stearman Biplane which was designed in 1934 primarily as a training plane and like the L-5 Sentinel before it serves much as a trainer aircraft in the Second World War, training aspiring pilots as the United States war effort pursued on during that time. Both platforms were said to have been modified into seaplanes with the help of the then-COLONEL BLAKE LAMBERT of the US Air Force.

While these first two aircraft were primarily utilized back then for anti-smuggling, recon, air evacuation, and mercy and admin flights in support of operating task forces as the referenced author detailed, it was not until the De Havilland L-20 (U-6A) Beaver was introduced wherein three units were procured as part of the reorganization of the then-Naval Air Section into the Naval Air Unit or NAU in the December of 1960 in which the said line of aircraft was utilized in high-risk missions coupled with the lack of funds of maintenance have inflicted the toll on the platforms which in turn affected the operations of the Philippine Navy's air unit component.

The Naval Air Unit was once again reorganized into the Naval Air Group in the September of 1975 wherein it primarily consists of Bitten Norman BN-2 Islander which is apparently still in service up to the present (as indicated on the image above alongside current active units of the Naval Air Wing) that may get eventually replaced by both the TC-90 King Air and the platform discussed here later on, and the MBB-BO 105-C which are said to have provided by the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation or PADC.

The current structure of the Naval Air Wing from its older "Naval Air Group" status was reorganized in the first quarter of 2019 in which the current composition includes the old Bitten Norman BN-2 Islander along with the newly-procured ones such as the AW-159 Wildcat Antisubmarine Helicopter, the AW-109 Power Light Helicopters, and TC-90 King Air aircraft that was donated by Japan.

Adding more platforms like the TC-12 Huron into this Philippine Navy aviation sub-component may improve and enhance more its capabilities that go in line with its duties and responsibilities as well as the ever-increasing importance of external defense in which the Naval Air Wing plays a significant role that may go alongside other units of the Philippine Navy in ensuring the safety and security of its maritime domain, both in territorial waters and in the exclusive economic zone.

The United States Marine Corps C-12B Huron. This variant is also utilized by the United States Navy.
Obtained from Fokker Aircraft via Jetphotos.net website
As this procurement plan ensues, it may help the Philippine Navy improve its capabilities further as added assets are helpful to cover more area in its maritime patrol operations as threats from the sea get increased especially with the recent incursions that China inflicts on the country's waters.

The plans of getting C-12 Hurons from the United States Navy was reinforced further by the fact that the Philippine Navy already obtain a handful of C-90 King Air utility aircraft which was donated from Japan wherein there are logistical advantages in terms of interoperability, maintenance, repairs, and outsourcing of spare parts that keep it operational and in tip-top shape.

Aside from the logistical advantages, its credibility is also indisputable as it is operational across multiple Armed Forces of different nations of the world, of which it included all of the branches under the United States military with the Navy variants preferable the ones that the Philippine Navy seeks on its acquisition under the terms provided by the United States' Excess Defense Articles.

Produced by a renowned company such as Beechcraft Aircraft which was founded in the early 1930s and is still operational as a subsidiary of Textron Aviation, their aircraft production benefited both its military and civilian customers which ensure and reinforces its reputation up to the present in a way that the Philippine Navy sees potential in utilizing these platforms on maritime use.

It remains to be seen as to how far this possibility of acquisition goes as there may be further decisions to be made in the future that may render the plans out of the picture, depending on how favorable the environment is to be for this platform to be considered upon. Nevertheless, it may still come with one's hopes, dreams, and aspirations that such a plan like this pushes through amidst the challenges that the nation faces in fighting another battle, one that involves the health and economic welfare of the Filipino people.

(c) 2020 PDA.




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