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PAF looking for funds for multi-role fighter project —spox

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is still looking for funds for its multi-role fighter (MRF) project, its spokesperson Colonel Maynard Mariano said on Tuesday.

“That is already approved but we are still looking for funding for that project, that is the status right now,” Mariano said in a media interview when asked about the status of the MRF project.

He added that the PAF has yet to decide on the model that will be purchased because of the lack of funding. He added that the Korean fighter aircraft KF-21 is a viable option for them.

“So of course KAI and Korea is also offering their KF-21 para sa atin [to us], so it's also a viable option as a multi-role fighter,” Mariano said.

Citing the study of PAF’s technical working group, Mariano said their “last two choices” of model for the MRF project were US firm Lockheed Martin's F-16 and Swedish firm Saab AB's JAS 39 Gripen.

According to Mariano, the PAF are considering different options in case of some changes in scenarios that could affect the purchase for the MRF project.

“For example, if the Gripen and the F-16 will not push through then perhaps we should be going to another option also, we go back tayo sa original studies on all other MRFs that will fit the requirements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he said.

In July, Department of National Defense (DND) officer-in-charge Jose Faustino Jr. said all AFP modernization projects are under review due to limited budget.

He said a new list of projects will be resubmitted to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for his approval.

The DND is also seeking a congressional review on the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP). — BM, GMA News