AFP set to acquire military hardware from Israel, Jordan

The military will be acquiring a wide array of assets and equipment from Jordan and Israel, including two attack helicopters, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said on Monday.

The defense chief, who joined President Duterte’s visit last week to the two countries, said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will be “buying a lot” of equipment from Israel, as earlier ordered by the Commander in Chief.

Among the equipment that will be acquired from Jerusalem are unmanned aerial vehicles, radars and protective vests.

“They are offering some more, we are looking into them,” Lorenzana said.

While in Israel, Duterte said that the military will be acquiring assets and equipment only from Israel, especially the items that will be be used in the area of intelligence
and monitoring.

Lorenzana said that Jordan will grant the military with two Cobra attack helicopters, a donation that has been floated several months ago, and was among the reasons Duterte visited the country.

He said that some other equipment, which Jordan showed to the Philippine delegation during the visit, were also promised to the military amid its modernization program.

“All of that, we will give them all to you. The King told the President,” Lorenzana said, recalling the words of the king of Jordan during his meeting with Duterte  and his party.

Lorenzana said that, aside from those promised by Jordan to turn over to Manila, it will also provide army equipment like armed vehicles and 105 mm cannons.

Meanwhile, National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde said the police has been using equipment purchased from Israel, the United States and even Turkey, without providing further details.

At the same time, Albayalde said they have been requesting the government to provide additional funding for the procurement of additional air assets, like two helicopters.

He said the PNP wanted to have one airplane that would cater to the needs for rapid deployment of policemen, especially members of the Special Action Force.

 

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Rene P. Acosta covers defense, law enforcement and national security for the paper. He had written for a number of publications, including abroad before he joined BusinessMirror. His works had appeared in the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Asia Pacific Defense Forum, both in the US. He took up regional security with the International Visitor Leadership Program, US. He is currently the chairman of the board of the Defense Press Corps of the Philippines which he had headed in 2009.