by Philippine News Agency
MANILA — Once repainted and installed with additional equipment, the three Japanese-donated Beechcraft King Air TC-90 patrol aircraft will boost the Philippine Navy (PN)’s capability in intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, limited transport and maritime air surveillance.
“The acquisition is expected to boost the capability of the PN and enhance the capacity of its personnel primarily in conducting maritime security and sovereignty patrols, as the Navy stays true to its commitment to protect the seas and secure the nation’s future,” PN spokesperson Capt. Lued Lincuna said.
He added that the PN has more than sufficient personnel to operate and maintain the Japanese-donated Beechcraft King Air TC-90 aircraft. Six pilots along with the necessary maintenance officers and have completed the maintenance training in Sendai and Tokushima, Japan, prior the turned over of the aircraft last March 26.
The PN spokesperson added that these Japanese-trained personnel will then serve as instructors of all Navy personnel assigned to fly and maintain the TC-90s.
The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized last Feb. 29, 2016.
The first two TC-90s were delivered to the Philippines on March 27, 2017 while the last three aircraft were handed over to the PN last Monday.
The aircraft have a range of over 1,000 nautical miles, and a cruising speed of 226 knots and capable of carrying eight passengers along with the pilots.
As of this time, the Navy is operating around six Norman Britten “Islander” patrol aircraft, five AgustaWestland combat utility helicopters and one Robinson R-22 training helicopter. (PNA)
by Priam Nepomuceno, April 2, 2018