PH gets ₱5-billion air surveillance radars from Japan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 28) — It’s all systems go for the delivery of four air surveillance radar systems from Japan in a bid to boost the Philippines’ defense capability.

The contract agreement and notice to proceed for the Philippine Air Force’s Horizon 2 Air Surveillance Radar System Acquisition Project was signed early this month, the Defense Department announced on Friday.

The contract was awarded to Japanese company Mitsubishi Electric Corporation at $103 million or around ₱5 billion. Delivery is set for 2022.

The negotiated government-to-government procurement with Japan is in line with a 2016 agreement between the two countries for the transfer of defense equipment and technology.

“This will be another project based on the said agreement, following the transfer of TC-90 aircrafts that have been agreed upon in 2016, and is the first overseas transfer of a complete defense equipment system that is newly-manufactured by a Japanese company,” the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines said in a separate statement.

The air surveillance radars will be used in large areas of the Philippine Rise and the West Philippine Sea, which includes areas in the South China Sea that are being claimed by both Manila and Beijing. No other country claims the Philippine Rise off Aurora province, but China's survey ships were spotted in the resource-rich area in May 2017, prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to change its name from Benham Rise to assert sovereignty.

“Operations from these strategically vital locations will enable the Philippine Air Force to provide optimal airspace monitoring, aircraft control, perform its Air Defense mission and enhance the security in Areas of Interest identified by the DND (Department of National Defense),” the department said.

The package includes three fixed long-range air surveillance radars with building facilities and one mobile air surveillance radar, which will help detect threats and intrusions within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, the DND added.