3 more patrol planes from Japan arriving next month: DND

MANILA — Three more Japanese-donated Beechcraft King Air TC-90 patrol aircraft will be transferred to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) by the third week of March.

This was announced by Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong Monday.

The planes will be tentatively delivered to the Naval Air Group headquarters in Sangley Point, Cavite City, he added.

The first two TC-90s were delivered to the Philippines last March 27. With the pending arrival of the three planes, the number of Philippine-operated TC-90s will climb to five.

Last January 31, one of the first two delivered planes, with tail number 390, conducted its first maritime air patrol mission off Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, Zambales.

The TC-90s have a range of over 1,000 nautical miles, and a cruising speed of 260 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, four GAF “Nomad” planes, five AgustaWestland combat utility helicopters and one Robinson R-22 training helicopter.

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. PNA-northboundasia.com