SF-260 Up for Delivery

New trainer planes to join PAF fleet

By Jay Chua

May 20, 2010

THE Air Force will receive the first batch of 18 brand new SF-260 basic training aircraft next month to augment the present squadron of trainer aircraft based at the Air Education and Training Command in Fernando Air Base in Lipa City.

The Italian-made SF-260 is a propeller-driven, two-seater plane that has been the backbone of the PAF training schools for the past decades.

The brand new aircraft were assembled at the Clark Air Base facility. The whole package would cost the government P661 million.

Air Force chief, Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena said the 18 trainer aircraft will be fully delivered before Air Force Day celebration on July 2.

Rabena said the PAF has still six S-211 jet trainers and these would soon be replaced by similar jet trainers but of the "generic" kind.

"We were ordered to submit the generic types of jet trainers to choose from that would be able to satisfy the technical specifications of the AFP," he said.

He said they are now choosing models from Europe, the United States and even Asia.

Rabena said the purchase of the next combat helicopter is awaiting the signature of Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales.

"We’re getting eight combat helicopters at a cost of three billion pesos," Rabena said.

He said these new generation of choppers are capable of higher payload, and better maneuverable capability.

The new choppers, made in Sokol, Poland, would replace the ageing UH-IH "Hueys" in the inventory of the PAF.

PAF has a fleet of seven Hueys purely for search and rescue mission, while 34 Hueys are scattered in some PAF centers ready for various missions. –

1 comment:

  1. So we're getting new trainers so our pilots can fly... more trainers. So what's the career path of a typical PAF pilot? T-41 to SF260 to S211. All trainers. We must have some of the most highly-trained pilots in the world.

    (Tongue in cheek, of course)