MANILA, Philippines, March 6 (UPI) -- The Philippines is upgrading its air force defenses to protect national sovereignty.
Philippine Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said the Philippines air force is purchasing six surface attack jets and trainer aircraft, a long-range patrol plane, one air defense radar and a special mission airplane within the next four years.
"This is a result of the defense acquisition system and the senior leaders' meetings that they conduct very often," Okol told The Philippine Star. "Hopefully, we will see initial deliveries by 2013 to 2014 or at the latest 2015,"
Okol added that the air force is also taking delivery of eight combat utility helicopters, three multipurpose attack aircraft, equipment for coast watch stations, and 33 multipurpose rocket launchers for the Presidential Security Group.
The highest territorial priority for the Philippines and its military forces is its dispute with China over offshore territorial divisions of the waters surrounding the Spratly Islands, claimed by both countries.