US OKs Potential Sale of F-16s, Other Military Equipment to Philippines
The US State Department has approved the possible sale of F-16s, AGM-84 Harpoon missiles, and other military equipment to the Philippines, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) revealed on Thursday.
The proposed sale, totaling around 118 billion Philippine pesos ($2.43 billion), will improve the country’s ability to meet security threats by strengthening its counterterrorism operations.
The agreement is also a continuation of US foreign policy in “helping to improve the security of a strategic partner that continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in South East Asia.”
In addition to F-16C fighters and Harpoon missiles, the Southeast Asian nation has requested modular mission computers, missile launchers, tactical radio systems, and ammunition.
According to the DSCA, American defense company Lockheed Martin Corporation will be the principal contractor for the potential sale. However, it will still need the approval of Congress.
‘Committed to Modernizing Military’
DSCA pointed out that the multibillion-dollar sale of military equipment to the Philippines is another step toward the country’s goal of modernizing its armed forces.
This week, the military took delivery of high-powered weapons and equipment worth 183 million Philippine pesos ($3.8 million) from the US. The delivery includes nine M3P .50-caliber heavy machine guns, 10 mortar tubes, and other armaments.
The Philippine Air Force has also received five new S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters from a defense firm in Poland. With the latest delivery, the country now has 11 Black Hawks.
However, on Thursday, the country grounded its entire fleet of Black Hawk helicopters after one of the new aircraft crashed during a night-time training flight, killing all six on board.