The Philippines has advanced its air force modernisation efforts by signing a $13.8 million deal with Italy's Alenia Aermacchi for 18 SF-260F primary trainers.
To be delivered over an 18-month period from mid-2009, the new aircraft will be manufactured in Italy, but assembled locally by Aerotech Industries Philippines. Announced on 12 May, the deal also covers the provision of pilot and technician training services, ground support equipment and spare parts, says Alenia Aermacchi.
© Alenia Aermacchi
The Philippine air force is already an operator of the SF-260 (Italian air force examples pictured above), having previously acquired 64 to support its training activities. However, only around 25 of these earlier aircraft are currently operational, according to Flight's MiliCAS database.
Manila also has around 11 SIAI Marchetti S-211 basic jet trainers in use, with Alenia Aermacchi now marketing an extensively redesigned version called the M-311.