27 March 2017
|Philippine Navy (PN) has received the first two Beechcraft TC-90 King Air advanced trainer aircraft out of the five frames committed by the Japanese Ministry of Defense (JMOD) to be let to the Philippine military for pilot training on surveillance missions.|
It is the first Self-Defense Forces aircraft leased to another country since world war II after it recently lifted a self-imposed ban on weapons exports.The Philippines will pay Japan $7,000 each for four aircraft yearly and only $200 for the fifth—for a total of $28,200. The lease will be renewable every year.
The first two were stripped of surveillance equipment's as they will be used for training purposes while the next three more TC90s expected to arrive by the end of March 2018 will possess some classified surveillance suite for maritime security patrols.
The TC-90 is capable of flying some 1,900 kilometers (1,180 miles), roughly double the flight range of the Philippine navy’s Islander aircraft.
The Philippines through its Defence Ministry had been pushing for a handover of three of the more advanced P-3C Orion aircraft, developed by Lockheed Martin but the request was deferred by Tokyo citing technical and operational deficiencies on the P-3Cs and required permission on the use of some surveillance suite by the US government.