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PIA Press Release
Thursday, November 04, 2010

PAF accepts 4 new jets

CLARK AIR BASE, PAMPANGA- AIR Force Chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena formally accepted today the initial four of the 18 brand new trainer jets brought this year from Italy through the military’s modernization program, with Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin as guest of honor.

Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said this initial delivery is part of the 18 basic trainer aircraft which the Air Force is acquiring from Augusta of Italy with a total cost of P621, 671,409.06. The said package includes the planes, spare parts, training, and integrated logistical support.

“These trainers will significantly increase the number of available basic trainer aircraft of the PAF for flight training. The handover of T-41 aircraft from the Republic of South Korea in 2009 provided more primary trainer aircraft for the Philippine Air Force Flying School. The current Pilot Training System of the Philippine Air Force uses both the T-41 and the SF-260 aircraft for primary and basic training respectively,” Okol said.

The Air Force is lacking in training aircrafts, with at least 150 to 170 Air Force officers forced to wait in line for an actual training to fly an aircraft.

The arrival of the four SF-260 Marchetti planes will boost the training capability of the Air Force and ease the backlog of students required to undergo flying exercises. But Okol clarified that while waiting for their turn, their time was not wasted as they also underwent training in other career fields related to intelligence, computers, logistics, and maintenance.

The propeller-driven AF-260 is the world’s most successful screener and primary trainer.

Fully acrobatic by design, the SF-260 offers flight characteristics and performance levels that allow effective pilot candidates screening early in the program and minimizes the costs incurred when students wash out on jets or complex turboprops.

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