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Philippines confirms LRPA acquisition

The Elbit long-range patrol aircraft based on the Leonardo ATR 72-600 will give the Philippine Air Force the ability to better monitor its exclusive economic zone and territorial holdings in the South China Sea. (Republic of Turkey Ministry of National Defense)

The Philippines has confirmed that it has signed a contract with Elbit Systems for the delivery of two long-range patrol aircraft (LRPA).

A spokesperson from the Department of National Defense-Armed Forces of the Philippines (DND-AFP) told Janes that the contract covers the supply and delivery of two LRPA at a total cost of PHP5.97 billion (USD109.31 million).

The contract is between the DND-AFP, the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defense (IMOD-SIBAT), and Elbit Systems. In a statement on 10 July Elbit said the two LRPA will be based on the Leonardo ATR 72-600.

β€œThe contract is expected to be completed in 2026,” the DND-AFP spokesperson said.

The DND-AFP did not provide details on the avionics and special systems to be equipped in the aircraft, citing national security concerns. In its 10 July statement, Elbit said the company's ATR 72-600-based special missions aircraft contains a mission management system (MMS), radars, electro-optics (EO), signals intelligence (SIGINT), and communication systems.

This aligns with the Philippine Air Force's (PAF's) original 2014 basic requirements for the LRPA. The requirement included at least four multifunction consoles with an airborne tactical system with an integrated EO/infrared (EO/IR) turret, enhanced surveillance measures/electronic intelligence (ELINT)/communications intelligence (COMINT) sensors, and a magnetic anomaly detector (MAD).

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