PH Air Force now integrating defense capabilities

MANILA — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is now taking the first steps in integrating efforts to regain its air defense capabilities.

This was emphasized by Air Force head Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar as the air service celebrated its 71st founding anniversary Tuesday.

“Currently, our stress is on integrating efforts in regaining air defense capabilities for peace and resilient development, our anniversary theme for this (year),” he added.

Kintanar, however, admitted that integration is a challenge due to the cost of developing a robust joint command, control, communications, computer and information (C4I) system but said Air Force has taken the initial steps with acquisition of 12 South Korean-made Mach 1.5 capable FA-50 light-lift fighter trainers and coming activation of their brand-new air defense surveillance radars.

The above-mentioned platforms are part of the ongoing Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.

“But this is only our path ahead with our FA-50(PH) aircraft in harness and with our air defense surveillance radars scheduled to go up in time, best practice dictates that our decision loops must be based on common operating features and shared situational awareness. In this time and age no Air Force can afford to fly in the haze of uncertainty or fog of conflict,” the PAF chief added.

In line with this, Kintanar said the PAF is now coordinating with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to integrate their air defense radars with those of the CAAP to enable us to effectively monitor and detect unregistered aircraft and other unidentified entrants.

“More importantly we need to engage more stakeholders as we develop a national strategy for aviation security with DOTr and CAAP as our main partners,” he added.