Size 243 total aircraft
Fighter KAI T-50 Golden Eagle
Patrol Fokker F27 Friendship
|Type Air force|
Headquarters Pasay, Philippines
Date founded 1 July 1947
|Active July 1, 1947; 69 years ago (1947-07-01)|
Part of Philippine Armed Forces
Transports CASA C-212 Aviocar, Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Engagements World War II, CPP–NPA–NDF rebellion
Similar Armed Forces of the Philip, Philippine Navy, Philippine Army, Philippine Marine Corps, Pakistan Air Force
- Core Values
- Early years to recent
- Current status
- Flight Plan 2028
- Commanding generals
- Modernization programs
- Multi role fighters
- Surface attack aircraftLead in fighter trainer
- Close air support aircraft
- Additional UH 1
- Used C 130
- Refurbishing of C 130
- Light lift aircraft
- Long Range Patrol Aircraft
- Aircraft inventory
- Air Divisions
- Air Wings
- Separate Units
- Aerobatic Team
"To organize, train, equip, maintain and provide forces to conduct prompt and sustained air operations to accomplish the AFP mission"
"A Professional and Competent Air Force Responsive to National Security and Development"
Integrity, Service, Teamwork, Excellence, Professionalism
Early years to recent
The forerunners of the Philippine Air Force was the Philippine Militia, otherwise known as Philippine National Guard (PNG). On March 17, 1917 Senate President Manuel L. Quezon enacted a bill (Militia Act 2715) for the creation of the Philippine Militia. It was enacted in anticipation that there would be an outbreak of hostilities between United States and Germany.
By the end of the First World War, the US Army and Navy began selling aircraft and equipment to the Philippine Militia Commission. The Commission then hired the services of the Curtiss School of Aviation to provide flight training to 33 students at a local base in Parañaque.
The early aviation unit was, however, still lacking enough knowledge and equipment to be considered as an air force and was then limited only to air Transport duties. On January 2, 1935, Philippine Military Aviation was activated when the 10th Congress passed Commonwealth Act 1494 that provided for the organization of the Philippine Constabulary Air Corps (PCAC). PCAC was renamed as the Philippine Army Air Corps (PAAC) in 1936. It started with only three planes on its inventory. In 1941, PAAC had a total of 54 aircraft including pursuit (fighters) light bombers, Reconnaissance aircraft, light Transport and trainers. They later engaged the Japanese when they invaded the Philippines in 1941–42, and were reformed in 1945 after the country's liberation.
The PAF became a separate military service on July 1, 1947, when President Manuel Roxas issued Executive Order No. 94. This order created the Philippine Naval Patrol and the Air Force as equal branches of the Philippine army and the Philippine Constabulary under the now Armed Forces of the Philippines becoming Southeast Asia's third air force as a result.
The main aircraft type in the earlier era of the PAF was the P-51 Mustang, flown from 1947 to 1959. Ground Attack missions were flown against various insurgent groups, with aircraft hit by ground fire but none shot down. In the 1950s the Mustang was used by the Blue Diamonds aerobatic display team. These would be replaced by the jet-powered North American F-86 Sabres in the late 1950s, assisted by Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star and Beechcraft T-34 Mentor trainers.
The PAF saw its first international action in the Congo under the UN peacekeeping mission in 1960.
Since the retirement of the Northrop F-5s in September 2005 without a planned replacement, the Philippine air force was left without Fighter jets. The PAF resorted to the Aermacchi S-211 trainer jets to fill the void left by the F-5's. These S-211's were later upgraded to light attack capability and used for air and sea patrol and also performed counter-insurgency operations from time to time. The only active fixed wing aircraft to fill the roles were the SF-260 trainers with light attack capability, the OV-10 Bronco light attack and reconnaissance aircraft and the AS-211 warriors (upgraded S-211).
With the new acquisition of the C-295M, one commissioned on 30 March 2015, a second C-295 arrived September 2015 for evaluation before commissioning, a total of three C-295M's are to be delivered between 2015 and 2016, which boosts the PAF's transport capability with an additional two C-130T's being acquired through the US foreign military sales program. The PAF currently has three active C-130's which were heavily used during the 2013 Typhoon Yolanda crisis.
In December 2014, the PAF received 2 of the 8 AW-109E power attack version helicopters from Agusta Westland and was commissioned August 2015, 6 more are expected to be delivered. These additional helicopters aims to boost its Helicopter strike wing currently filled by the MD-520's. The MD-520's has been used to conduct operations against terrorist groups in Mindanao. Some additional 21 refurbished UH-1 Huey's are due to arrive along with the NC-212 Aviocar acquired the same date as the CASA C-295M. In March 2015 the DND announced the upgrading of an old radar station to improve its air defense monitoring capability.
In May 2015, the Philippines expressed interest in acquiring a number Lockheed P-3 Orion from Japan, which the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) is planning to retire within a few years time.
In August 2015 all Bell-412 helicopters where delivered and commissioned, 3 where for VIP and 5 as combat utility helicopters.
In September 2015, 30 defence acquisition projects including the LRPA, 2 brand new frigates, ASW helicopters and CAS has been approved and green lit for bidding by President Benigno S. Aquino III. The projects were put on hold due to the pending signing of the new AFP Modernization Law.
In November 2015, the Philippine Air Force took delivery of two new South Korean FA-50 light multi-role fighter-trainer supersonic jets, arriving at Clark Freeport Air Base. A total order of 12 will be delivered by 2017. The goal is to re-establish a capability to quickly respond to threats while ultimately transitioning the PAF back into supersonic capability with future plans of acquiring Multi-Role Fighters by 2018.
In December 2015, 2 FA-50 light-multirole fighter trainers along with the second C-295M and 6 AW-109 attack helicopters were commissioned and accepted into service with the Philippine Air Force christened and attended by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Flight Plan 2028
In response to regional strategic challenges and perceived internal weaknesses, the PAF has embarked on a transformation process to enhance its capabilities. Flight Plan 2028 is administered by the Air Force Strategy Management Office (AFSMO), and aims to:
The plan calls for a reorienting of the Philippine Air Force from a primarily internal security role to a territorial defence force. It will require substantial organisational, doctrinal, training, strategic and equipment transformation.
The list of commanding generals of the PAF in ascending order of appointment is as follows:
Over 15 years after the 1995 passage of the Armed Forces Philippines (AFP) Moderation Program (Republic Act 7898), the Philippine Air Force remains in dire need of modernization. The current incarnation of the AFP modernization program is the Capability Upgrade Program (CUP) which defers PAF-related modernization efforts to the second and third phases of a three-phase program. Much to the consternation of PAF observers and personnel, the first phase, dubbed "Back to Basics" focuses on improving the AFP's ability to conduct Internal Security Operations (ISO). What little funding the PAF receives in this phase revolve around the PAF's role in supporting ground operations.
More advanced aircraft are expected in Phases 2 and 3 of the CUP, which is when genuine modernization is expected to start. PAF-related components of these phases are grouped into what it calls "Horizon programs", with Horizon 2 expected to begin in the 2010 to 2012 time frame.
Assets acquired during the modernization program are: 8 PZL W-3 Sokół, and 18 SF-260F.
On recent release of the PAF flight plan 2028, the Philippine air force indicated further plans of acquiring more advance assets such as AEWAC's, ECM aircraft, medium/heavy lift helicopters advance multi-role fighters and possible additional FA-50's.
There were several occasions that the PAF tried to modernize its fighter aircraft force, which was left to decline for several decades.
In 1991 the newly democratic Russian government offered the PAF several of its aircraft including the Mikoyan MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 during a demonstration held at Villamor Air Base. In 1992 the PAF received offers for both the IAI Kfir and the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
After the enactment of the 1995 AFP Modernization Act, the PAF made renewed calls to purchase several fighter aircraft, with the initial plan of having 36 multirole fighters in a span of 15 years. Offers included the American Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Falcon and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-18C/D Hornet, French Dassault Mirage 2000-5, and the Russian Mikoyan MiG-29. Also offered as alternatives were the embargoed Pakistani F-16A/Bs and ex-French Air Force Mirage F1, and ex-South African Air Force Denel Cheetahs which were rejected as the government was then inclined on obtaining new-build platforms. However, these modernization programs were put on hold after the Philippines' economy was impacted by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
Renewed interest would later come on used platforms. In June 2010, the Department of National Defense (DND) was also looking at Canada for used CF-18s or France for its used Mirage F1s, although no decision or purchase came up.
In December 2011, the DND and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was tasked to formally request at least a squadron of 12 ex-USAF F-16C/D fighter jets, most probably Block 25 or 30 which would be refurbished to either Block 50 or 52 standards. This was discussed during the US-Philippines "2+2" Meeting on 30 April 2012. The Philippine government would pay for refurbishing, maintenance and pilot training which would run for two years.
However, by 2012 the maintenance costs for the used fighters were found to be too high so attention turned to new jet trainers that could be converted into jet fighters. The requirements were listed as "supersonic ability, multifunction displays and On Board Oxygen Generation System." A DND spokesman has said that aircraft from France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and South Korea were considered.
It was reported that the DND will be acquiring multirole fighters by 2018.
Surface attack aircraft/Lead-in fighter trainer
In May 2010, Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena announced that the PAF was ordered to submit generic types of advanced jet trainers that will replace the S-211. According to Gen. Rabena, they are choosing models from Europe and Asia, and following evaluation, the Department of National Defense will open bidding for the purchase of such aircraft.
In March 2012, the AMX fighter was one of the items inspected by a DND delegation Italy possible procurement of used AMX aircraft, although no official information has been released if purchases will be made on the said aircraft.
A requirement for at least six new Lead-in Fighter Trainers (LIFT) that will also fill in the Surface Attack Aircraft (SAA) role was announced by the PAF and DND in 2011. But this was revised to twelve units during announcements by the DND and PAF in 2012. The offers made to the PAF and DND were the following:
On June 19, 2012, it was reported that the Department of National Defense (DND) selected the supersonic TA-50 Golden Eagle from South Korea to augment the need of the Philippine Air Force for advanced trainers which can also be converted as fighter jets. The Philippines intends to acquire 12 units at ₱1.25 billion (USD29.4 million) each.
In July 2012, state media reported that the selection had been narrowed down to the TA-50, M-346, Yak-130 or the BAE Hawk.
On January 30, 2013, it was confirmed by the Philippine government that the FA-50 Fighting Eagle light fighter trainer has been selected for acquisition for 18.9 billion pesos (USD309 million). 12 units are to be purchased. As of April 23, 2013, the Department of National Defense (DND) is in the last stages of procuring the FA-50.
On February 21, 2014, it was announced that the Philippines and South Korea completed the negotiations for the acquisition of 12 lead-in fighter trainer jets from South Korea. The Department of National Defense Special Bids and Awards Committee approved the offer of Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in a meeting that was held in Camp Aguinaldo.
On March 28, 2014, it was announced by the state arms procurement agency of South Korea that South Korea signed a USD420 million contract Friday to export 12 FA-50 fighter jets built by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to the Philippines under a government-to-government deal.
Close air support aircraft
The Philippine Air Force is looking to replace entire OV-10 Bronco fleet which are currently used for close air support and aerial reconnaissance platforms. Being considered are the Hawker Beechcraft AT-6B Texan II, Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano, KAI KA-1 Woongbi, Elbit Systems L-159, and reportedly, the Air Tractor AT-802U. A decision from the PAF & DND was expected to be released by July 2012, but was moved to the fourth quarter of 2014 due to bureaucratic constraints.
Hawker Beechcraft demonstrated their AT-6B Texan II, together with their other aircraft line, in April 2012 with a display at Clark Air Base.
On 20 June 2012, it was reported that the Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano from Brazil is a possible contender for its aircraft for a total of 6 units, which will be acquired for PhP4.968 billion (USD 115 million).
The Department of National Defense, on behalf of the PAF, is currently pursuing the following acquisition projects: eight (8) Combat Utility Helicopters (CUH), 8 attack helicopters (AH) and 21 additional UH-1H helicopters.
Five refurbished UH-1H helicopters from the United States government were handed-over to the PAF on 10 January 2011.
On 20 June 2012, it was reported that an additional 21 units of used UH-1D Huey utility helicopters from an unspecified country will be acquired for ₱1.2 billion (USD27.9 million). The helicopters will come from the United States and are expected to be delivered by December 2012. But it was reported the bidding failed because the two firms that submitted offers had failed to meet certain eligibility requirements.
After three failed bidding processes, DND proceeded to negotiate with the joint venture of Rice Aircraft Service Inc. and Eagle Copters, and finally awarded them the project on December 28, 2013 for a negotiated amount of ₱1.26 billion for 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopters. The first batch of the helicopters were expected to arrive within six months after the awarding.
In April 2015, the DND officially terminated the contract for the remaining undelivered UH-1's from Rice Aircraft Service Inc. and Eagle copters, due to failure to comply with the delivery schedule which was due on September 23, 2014. Out of 21, only 7 were delivered and were in good flying condition when strictly evaluated and tested. On 29 April 2015 Janes reported that Rice Aircraft intended to overturn the DND's decision to partially cancel the contract for the remaining UH-1 Huey's.
With a shortage of transport aircraft, the Philippine Air Force announced in February 2010 its intention to purchase a refurbished C-130H and three smaller transport aircraft to augment its fleet, and an invitation to bid was released with DERCO Aerospace declared as the only bidder with an ex-Tunisian Air Force C-130H. This might eventually replace the N-22B Nomad transport planes currently in service. But by June 2011, the DND declared a failure of bidding and instead are now looking for EDA from friendly countries.
In December 2011, President Noynoy Aquino promised to buy at least two more C-130 cargo aircraft by 2012. On July 24, 2014, the government ordered two additional refurbished C-130T aircraft, along with 10 Allison T56 turbopop engines from the United States through DSCA. These two C-130T aircraft will be delivered to the country next year. The government are now exploring plans to purchase C-130 aircraft from Australia.
Refurbishing of C-130
Two Philippine Air Force C-130 underwent a Programmed Depot Maintenance (PDM), one C-130H t/n 4704 with British Aerospace in California, United States while the other, a C-130B, is with PAF's 410th Maintenance Wing at Clark Air Base. The C-130H arrived in Manila on 17 October 2012, while the C-130B with t/n 3633 returned to active status on 28 December 2012. Another C-130 is expected to go through a similar recovery and overhaul program by the 410th Maintenance Wing.
Light lift aircraft
On 20 June 2012, it was reported that the IPTN NC-212 Aviocar light lift transport aircraft from Indonesia was chosen and a total of 2 units will be acquired for PhP 814 million (USD 18.9 million).
On September 26, 2013 the DND declared PT Dirgantara Indonesia/Indonesian Aerospace (PT DI/IAe) as the only qualified bidder. They are offering the Series 200, Series 300 and the Series 400 versions of the IPTN NC-212 Aviocar. The version to be delivered is the NC212i, the new generation of aircraft types NC212-200 or NC212-400. A notice of award was issued by the DND to PT DI in January 2014 after clearing the post-bid qualification requirements, and PT DI is required to deliver the aircraft within 548 calendar days from the opening of the letter of credit.
In November 2013, the DND released an invitation to bid for the acquisition of 3 brand new Search and Rescue seaplanes with an Integrated Logistics package (ILS). The DND has allotted 2.67 billion pesos for this project. The pre-bid conference was scheduled at November 15, 2013 while the actual bidding was scheduled at November 29, 2013. The seaplanes being offered should be used by the Armed Forces of the country of origin or by the Armed Forces of at least 2 other countries.
Long-Range Patrol Aircraft
On 1 July 2014, President Benigno Aquino III announced plans to acquire 2 long range patrol aircraft. A budget of P5.976 million has been allotted under the revised Armed Forces modernization program. Companies reported to have bought bid documents include Alenia Aermacchi, Airbus Military and Elta System Ltd.
Below are the various aircraft of the Air Force.
1st Air Division - Based in Clark Air Base, it is responsible for the conduct tactical air operations in support of AFP forces in Luzon. It was established on September 1, 1961, deactivated on May 1, 1997, and was again reactivated on August 1, 2007. It exercises command and control over the following Wings and Tactical Operations Groups (TOG):
2nd Air Division - Based in Benito Ebuen Air Base, it is responsible for the conduct tactical air operations in support of AFP forces in the Visayas.
3rd Air Division - Based in Edwin Andrews Air Base, it is responsible for the conduct tactical air operations in support of AFP forces in Mindanao.
Air Defense Wing Based in Basa Air Base in Pampanga, the unit is responsible for air defense and interdiction. It was previously known as the Air Defense Command before being downgraded to a wing in 2008. It is anticipated, based on the PAF's Flight Plan 2028, that it would again be elevated to command status once the 5th Fighter Group is elevated back to wing status within 2016-2017 period.
205th Tactical Helicopter Wing - Based in Benito Ebuen Air Base, it is responsible for conducting tactical helicopter operations in support of the PAF and AFP. The wing currently flies the Bell UH-1H Huey, Dornier-Bell UH-1D Huey, Bell 412EP, and PZL W-3A Sokol helicopters.- Flying Units: - 206th Tactical Helicopter Hornets Squadron - 207th Tactical Helicopter Stingers Squadron - 208th Tactical Helicopter Daggers Squadron - 210th Tactical Training Squadron- Support Unit: - 450th Maintenance and Support Group
220th Airlift Wing - Based in Benito Ebuen Air Base, it is responsible for conducting tactical airlift operations in support of the AFP. It is also currently the unit temporarily responsible for conducting long range maritime patrol and air reconnaissance.- Flying Units: - 221st Airlift Squadron - currently flies the Airbus C-295M and Fokker F27 Friendship medium tactical transport aircraft - 222nd Airlift Squadron - currently flies the Lockheed C-130B/H/T Hercules heavy tactical transport aircraft - 223rd Airlift Squadron - currently flies the GAF N-22B/C Nomad and upcoming EADS-IAe NC-212i light tactical transport aircraft - 228th Transport Crew and Training Squadron- Support Unit: - 470th Maintenance Support Group
250th Presidential Airlift Wing - Based in Villamor Air Base in Metro Manila, the unit is responsible for providing air transportation to the President of the Philippines, immediate members of his/her family, heads of states, state guests, and very very important persons (VVIP).- Flying Units: - 251st Presidential Airlift Squadron - currently flies the Fokker F27 Friendship and Fokker F28 Fellowship VVIP aircraft. - 252nd Presidential Airlift Squadron - currently flies the Bell 412EP/HP and Sikorsky S-70A5-1 Blackhawk VVIP helicopters.- Support Unit: - 480th Maintenance and Supply Group
355th Aviation Engineering Wing - Based in Clark Air Base in Pampanga, the unit is tasked to provide general engineering support, including construction, repair, rehabilitation and maintenance of PAF aerodrome facilities and utilities.
580th Aircraft Control and Warning Wing - Based in Wallace Air Station in La Union, the unit is responsible for operating air defense and surveillance radar systems of the PAF. It was reactivated on November 3, 2016 after being downgraded to a Group on April 1, 2005.
710th Special Operations Wing - Based in Crow Valley Military Reservation and Gunnery Range in Tarlac, the unit is responsible for conducting special operations, counter terrorism, and defense of PAF bases and facilities. The unit is also being groomed to be responsible for ground-based air defense system (GBADS) units which is being inducted into the PAF's future capabilities.- Combat Units: - 720th Special Operations Group - based in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City - 730th Combat Group - 740th Combat Group - based in Fernando Air Base, Lipa City - 750th Combat Group - based in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City - 760th Combat Group - 770th Special Operations Combat Support Group - based in Clark Air Base, Angeles City - 772nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron - 773rd K-9 Squadron - 780th Ground Based Air Defense Group
505th Search and Rescue Group - Based in Villamor Air Base, the unit is responsible for air search and rescue operations in support of the AFP and civilian agencies. The unit currently flies the Bell 205A, UH-1H Huey II, Bell UH-1H Super Huey, and the PZL W-3A Sokół as SAR helicopters, and the Sikorsky S-76A as Air Ambulances.- Flying Units: - 5051st Search and Rescue Squadron - 5052nd Search and Rescue Squadron
300th Air Intelligence and Security Group
900th Air Force Weather Group
The Philippine Air Force has twelve bases located throughout the archipelago.
The Philippines had a number of Aerobatic teams during the 1970s.