The Philippine Navy has taken delivery of four Cessna 172 Skylark aircraft from the US as part of a 298 million Philippine pesos ($5.8 million) Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant.
According to the US Embassy in Manila, the single-engine military planes will be utilized by the country’s naval air wing based in the Cavite province to train new naval aviators and maintain the capabilities of current pilots and aviation mechanics.
The delivery reportedly included spare parts and an integral logistics support package.
Under the same FMF grant, the southeast Asian nation will also receive three US-sourced Robinson R44 helicopters later this year.
Prior to the aircraft’s arrival, the US provided pilot and mechanic training to more than 20 Philippine military personnel in Kansas City.
“This project displays the United States’ commitment to our Philippine partners to invest in their long-term success,” Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava explained. “Together, the United States and the Philippines will continue to make great strides in the pursuit of a free and open maritime environment.”
‘Preparing for Crucial Tasks’
Developed by Cessna Aviation, the Skylark is a four-seat, high-wing aircraft powered by a continental GO-300 piston engine. It has a range of 1,167 kilometers (725 miles) and a maximum speed of 241 kilometers (149 miles) per hour.
The Cessna 175 features an all-metal airframe and is built of aluminum alloy. It is fitted with tricycle-style landing gear and has a wheelbase of 1.9 meters (6.2 feet).
Philippine defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the recently delivered air assets will improve the navy’s ability to prepare its pilots to monitor and safeguard the country’s maritime territories.
He further stated that the Philippines has rejoiced in the arrival of the Skylarks and recognizes its “productive and enduring” relationship with the US.
“We acknowledge our shared commitment to help preserve the peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region,” Lorenzana remarked.
The US has provided more than 5.6 billion Philippine pesos ($110 million) to the Philippines in the past two years through the FMF program. The grant assistance is intended to support the island nation’s sovereignty and military modernization efforts.