Armed Forces of the Philippines AFP Buys Defense Weapons from Italy
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin signed a five-year agreement with his Italian counterpart, Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola, to expedite the procurement by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) of defense materials from Italy’s defense industry suppliers.
“This arrangement will help expedite the procurement from Italian defense industry suppliers with the help of our counterpart at the Italian Ministry of Defense,” Gazmin said.
The signing of the arrangement highlighted Gazmin’s travel to Italy last January 30. The agreement is valid for five years from signing and will be automatically extended for another five years unless there is a written notice of intention to terminate.
The Defense chief noted that this move will help in the implementation of the AFP Modernization, a primary thrust in the Aquino administration.
Gazmin, however, clarified that the arrangement does not necessarily equate to actual procurement, but rather a system put into place for future transactions.
Secretary Gazmin was accompanied by Defense Acquisition System (DAS) Teams to inspect the proposed combat-ready defense materiel, which include the Maestrale and Soldati class deep patrol water vessel, the Piaggio 180, a single platform defense materiel with capabilities to perform as special mission aircraft, light lift aircraft and long- range patrol aircraft.
Also inspected were the medium lift tactical aircraft C27J, Italian Navy Coast Watch and Air Defense 3d Radar Systems, AMX ground attack aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Falco and Armored personnel carrier.
“This arrangement is a result of our efforts to explore any and all avenues for a more efficient procurement process for our Modernization Program,” Gazmin said.
Included in the discussion was a presentation on an Information Technology System or data fusion system that will allow data inflow/outflow and integration from any defense material platform available to mission personnel level up to the level of the Commander-in-Chief. The system can also provide for enhanced defense awareness for the AFP that can be shared with its civilian counterparts when needed.
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