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Philippines buys fighter jets, choppers worth 520 million dollars

Manila - The Philippine military on Friday signed contracts worth more than 520 million dollars to purchase 12 fighter jets and four helicopters from South Korean and Canadian firms.

The purchase of the aircraft was part of efforts to modernise the ill-equipped armed forces of the Philippines amid territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The new aircraft would mean "our air force can already forget the lingering naughty joke that it is all air without force," said Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.

The 12 FA-50 fighter jets were purchased from Korean Aerospace Industries with a deal worth 18.9 billion pesos (420 million dollars).

The military bought four Bell 412 combat utility helicopters worth 4.8 billion pesos from the Canadian Commercial Corp.

The two contractors are expected to start delivering the aircraft next year.

The Philippines has been seeking to upgrade its military capabilities to be able to better protect its territories over alleged increasing incursion of Chinese vessels.

DPA


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