The Philippine air force has taken delivery of its first four Alenia Aermacchi SF-260F primary trainers, with 14 more expected to be handed over in the first quarter of 2011.

The aircraft were manufactured in Italy, but assembled locally by Aerotech Industries Philippines. The first examples were originally scheduled for delivery in 2009, but "contract issues" with Aerotech resulted in the delay, the air force says.

The arrival of the aircraft should alleviate the 150-170 pilot training backlog that has been accumulated, the service says, adding: "We hope to get the line moving again."

Before the arrival of the new SF-260Fs, the Philippine air force had only 14 operational trainers: 10 Cessna T-41 Mescaleros and four SF-260s.

SF-260 Italy
 © Alenia Aermacchi

Source: Flight International