Philippines Receive First Two TC-90 King Air from Japan

First announced early last year, Japan has now said they will officially transfer two Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) TC-90 aircraft to the Philippine Navy. The aircraft will arrive ceremoniously at Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Sangley Point, Cavite City on March 23rd.

The initial deal was penned during the previous administration of Benigno Aquino III – a deal that will ultimately have five of Japan’s TC-90s leased to the Phillippines. It is a major agreement, since it will be first time Japan has lent military craft to a foreign country since lifting a self-imposed ban on weapons exports.

Pilots and air crew have been training since last November. All 5 King Air will be transferred by the end of 2017. The craft will be used for surveillance, patrol (particularly the South China Sea), disaster assistance, and rescue operations. The TC-90 has close to twice the range of the existing Norman-Britten BN-2 Islander fleet. The possibility also exists to further fit the craft with surface and air surveillance radar.

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