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Philippines to acquire subs, frigates, fighters under Horizon-II programme

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The South Korean-built FA-50 light attack aircraft of the Philippines Air Force. A PAF photo

MANILA (BNS): The Philippines Government has approved the second phase of the Horizon military modernisation programme under which it intends to acquire a wide range of military hardware, including multi-role fighters, attack helicopters, diesel-electric submarines and frigates.

The Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP) has already been approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said last week.

The five year Horizon II is expected to run from 2018 to 2022 and funding for the programme is estimated to be around PHP300 billion (US $5.6 billion), the Philippine News Agency reported.

"The Department of National Defense and the Department of Budget Management will talk on how to fund (these projects)," Andolong said.

Some of the equipment slated for acquisition under the programme include towed and self-propelled howitzers and multiple launch rocket systems for the Philippine Army; multi-role fighters, light and medium lift aircraft, attack and utility helicopters, special mission and long-range patrol aircraft for the Philippine Air Force; frigates, corvettes, submarines, amphibious assault vehicles and anti-submarine helicopters for the Philippine Navy among other assets.

Under the Horizon I programme which spanned from 2013 to 2017, Philippines had acquired three Del Pilar-class frigates, 12 FA-50 light fighters, and two strategic sealift vessels, among other military hardware.

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