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Command and Control Jet Aircraft Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) raised a requirement for the a new Command & Control (C2) platform fixed-wing jet aircraft that can be used by the President of the Republic of the Philippines and important leaders of the Philippine government in cases of emergency.

The aircraft could also be used as a Very Very Important Person (VVIP) transport aircraft when necessary, as the current fleet used by the PAF are in need of replacement ASAP due to old age.

This is part of the Command & Control Fixed-Wing Aircraft acquisition project, which was approved as part of the Horizon 2 phase of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.


The Philippine Air Force has selected to use the Gulfstream G280 business jet as the platform for its future C2 jet aircraft.

The Gulfstream G280 jet for the Philippine Air Force, as it departs Long Beach Airport in California on its way to Hawaii as part of its delivery transit to the Philippines. Photo taken from and credited to Michael Carter @ Aero Pacific Images.


Overview:

The new aircraft is expected to replace the ageing Fokker F-28 Fellowship jet VIP aircraft currently operated by the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing based in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Metro Manila. Due to its age, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte prefers to use private aircraft owned by friends or associates instead of the PAF service aircraft.

Being Command and Control platforms, these aircraft are expected to be equipped with extensive communications radio and computer equipment, and may also be connected to the Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance (C4ISTAR) system being built-up by the Armed Forces of the Philippines as well as all 3 major services including the PAF.

The new asset could be useful allowing the president or other government leaders to be provided with real-time information which can be used to provide guidance and direction to field commanders on the ground.

Project Summary:

Command & Control Fixed-Wing Jet Aircraft Acquisition Project

Note: edit as of 21 September 2020

* End User: Philippine Air Force (250th Presidential Airlift Wing)

Quantity: 1 aircraft


* Modernization Phase: Horizon 2 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC: Php2,000,000,000.00

Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement (Government-to-Government) through US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligatory Allocations (MYOA).

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent: Gulfstream Aerospace (USA)

Product for Delivery: IAI-Gulfstream G280

* Contract Price: US$31,899,999.00 (approx. Php1,658,800,000.00)


* Residual Amount: Php342,000,000.00, expected to be used for communications equipment after aircraft delivery.

* First post by MaxDefense: 25 October 2018

* MaxDefense Searching Hastag/s: #PAFC2JetAircraftAcquisition #PAFG280Acquisition

* Status: Expected delivery on or before 31 May 2020, delayed. Aircraft formally turned over to the Philippine Air Force on 17 September 2020 at Texas, for delivery to the Philippines by 20 September 2020. Aircraft inducted with the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing on 21 September 2020. PROJECT COMPLETED.
  
 
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U P D A T E S:
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23 December 2018:

During the change of command ceremonies for the Philippine Air Force, outgoing chief Lt.Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar highlighted the expected deliveries for the PAF for 2019. All of the flying assets highlighted in the list were already discussed by MaxDefense in the past, considering our accurate monitoring of RAFPMP projects based directly from AFP and DND records.

Among those he mentioned and listed was the 2 fixed wing Command and Control aircraft - one will be turboprop powered, which was awarded to Airbus Defense-CASA last October 2018 with the C-295M aircraft. One will be jet powered, which was said to be awarded recently and MaxDefense will discuss this separately soon. The aircraft will also act as the Presidential Aircraft and will replace the ageing Fokker F27 and F28 in the PAF's 250th Presidential Airlift Wing.


Report from Philippine Daily Inquirer can be accessed HERE.

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01 July 2019:

MaxDefense received information from an insider that the PAF's Command and Control Fixed Wing Jet Aircraft was awarded to American aviation company Gulfstream Aerospace, which will supply a brand new Gulfstream G280 business jet.
Our concern is more on the aircraft's size, considering the budget allows for the acquisition of a larger business jet, probably the size of the Gulfstream 500 or 600 which is longer, wider, and has a longer range than the small G280.

Upon checking from aviation sources, a brand new Gulfstream G500 costs far less than the ABC allocated of Php2 billion, and may still have allowance to customize it to allow Command and Control and connectivity to the AFP's C4ISTAR system.



The Gulfstream G280, the smallest business jet in Gulfstream's range. Credits to original source of photo.

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18 September 2019:

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has released a Contract Notice on 17 September 2019, which includes a notice of contract awarding to Gulfstream Aerospace of Savannah, Georgia, for a US$31,899,999.00 firm fixed-price task order for the purchase of one Gulfstream aircraft, parts, tooling, and two years worth of logistics support for sustainment for the Philippine Air Force.

The amount was tasked against contract FA8134-19-D-0001, which is said to have a total face value of US$2,070,000,000.00, which could be for other US defense contracts

Below is the actual post from the US Department of Defense, which can be found on the link HERE.

“Gulfstream Aerospace, Savannah, Georgia, has been awarded a $31,899,999 firm-fixed-price task order against contract FA8134-19-D-0001 for the Gulfstream aircraft order and contractor logistic support (CLS) for Philippines Air Force. This order is for the purchase of one Gulfstream aircraft, parts, tooling and two years of CLS for sustainment of the aircraft. Work will be performed at Manila, Philippines, and is expected to be completed by May 31, 2022. This award is the result of a sole source acquisition. This contract involves 100% foreign military sales to the Philippines. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $2,070,000,000. Foreign Military Sales funding in the amount of $31,899,999 are being obligated at time of award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the contracting activity (FA8124-19-F-2500).”

The Gulfsteam G280. Photo taken from German Wikipedia.

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28 October 2019:

The Department of National Defense, as well as the Philippine Air Force insisted that the Command and Control (C2) aircraft of the Philippine Air Force is not a VVIP Aircraft for the President. It would be an aircraft that could fly senior officials which includes the President being the Command in Chief of the Armed Forces, and other officials like the Secretary of National Defense (SND), the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (CSAFP), among others.

The Philippine Air Force clarified though that due to limited resources, they can use the C2 aircraft to transport the president anywhere in the country or regionally, which is essentially the role of a VVIP aircraft.

Despite the denials, it is obvious that the Command and Control Aircraft is just a platform that could fly senior leaders and allow them to give command or instructions, which is essentially what a VVIP or Presidential Aircraft can normally do to with the right communications equipment.

A real Command and Control (C2) Aircraft does not have to fly the president or senior officials. It should just be enough to be up in the sky to provide direction and will be in direct communication with senior officials like the president, and with the field units.

Let's see what else the AFP and DND would say in the future about this.


This is what a real Command and Control Aircraft looks like, although this one is even more capable as it is also an Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft. This is the Indian Air Force's Netra AEW&C, which MaxDefense expects the Indian government to offer in the future. Photo taken from The Defenstar.

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12 September 2020:

In a post made in Twitter on 12 September 2020, MaxDefense mentioned that it received information from its sources that the Gulfstream G280 aircraft for the Philippine Air Force will be arriving soon, and preparations are being made in the PAF for its arrival.



It would be remembered that based on contractual requirements, the aircraft was suppose to arrive on May 2020, but COVID-19 pandemic hitting both the US and the Philippines has affected the delivery schedule.

Below photo shows the aircraft, fresh from the factory, as seen in Canada on January 2020. This proves that Gulfstream could potentially deliver the aircraft on May 2020 if only things were not affected by the global pandemic.

Photo taken from and credited to Scott Pindera @ Jetphotos.


The aircraft, with temporary serial number N299GA registered to Gulfstream Aerospace, was seen in Canada in January 2020. Photo credits to Scott Pindera @ Jetphotos.

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18 September 2020:

To back our earlier information that the Gulfstream G280 aircraft for the Philippine Air Force is being prepared for delivery soon, a photo has surfaced of the specific aircraft, now with complete paint, seen in Long Beach Airport, California, and is said to be heading for Hawaii.


Photo credits to Michael Carter @ Aero Pacific Images.


Compared to last time, now the serial number is 1251, which is a temporary serial number assigned with the US Department of the Air Force. 

So why was the aircraft registered to the US Department of the Air Force?

Since the project was acquired through US Foreign Military Sales (US FMS) program, the US government is the main contractor for this project, with Gulfstream Aerospace being a nominated subcontractor.

Being the main contractor, the US government will be the one delivering the aircraft to the PAF, and will be the one handling the support of the aircraft including logistics, training, spares, and all other requirements as specified in the contract with the Philippines Department of National Defense.

Once the aircraft is handed over, the Philippine Air Force can replace the serials, but the major part is the ownership and registration of the aircraft is now under the PAF.

Photo was taken on 17 September 2020, as the aircraft arrived in Long Beach Airport, California from Dallas Love Field, Texas., and was said to have departed on the same day for Lihue, Hawaii.

Photo taken from and credited to Michael Carter @ Aero Pacific Images.

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20 September 2020:

Based on flight trackers and information from some of our community members, it appears that the Gulfstream G280 business jet bound for the Philippine Air Force, has arrived at Clark Air Base early today 20 September 2020.

The aircraft flew in from Dallas, Texas USA and made transit stops at Long Beach, California USA, Hawaii, and Guam.

MaxDefense is awaiting confirmation on the official arrival ceremonies for the aircraft, which we believe will be done together with the recently-arrived A-29B Super Tucano light attack aircraft that started arriving on 19 September 2020.



Photo taken from and credited to Michael Carter @ Aero Pacific Images.

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21 September 2020:

The Philippine Air Force has officially inducted the new Gulfstream G280 jet aircraft, with simple ceremonies held today 21 September 2020 at Clark Air Base, Pampanga, with Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay and Philippine Air Force Commanding General Lt.Gen. Allan Paredes present.




Blessing and induction of Gulfstream G280 jet to the Philippine Air Force on 21 September 2020. Photos credited to TSg Obinque PAF/PAOAFP.

The aircraft was said to have been
officially turned over to the Philippine Air Force in Texas on 17 September 2020, which means the aircraft was already a Philippine asset when it flew for its delivery transit to the Philippines.


The PAF received the Gulfstream G280 aircraft in Texas on 17 September 2020. Photos taken from and credited to the US Embassy.


The aircraft will become an asset of the PAF's 250th Presidential Airlift Wing, and is expected to complement the unit's ageing Fokker F28 Fellowship jet aircraft that is used for transport senior government leaders including Pres. Duterte, and senior military leaders.

As part of its first official flight, it transport medical supplies from Clark Air Base to Davao City, as well as senior government leaders including Defense Sec. Lorenzana and Interior Sec. Eduardo Ano.


The new aircraft transport medical supplies from Clark Air Base to Davao City during its inaugural flight of the aircraft last 21 September 2020. Photo taken from and credited to the Philippine Air Force. 


Our community members also noticed that the aircraft has been booked for several flights for the next few days.

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With the aircraft already delivered and in service with the Philippine Air Force, MaxDefense Philippines and Philippine Defense Resource can confirm that the Command and Control Jet Aircraft Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force as COMPLETED.

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First edit and release: 29 April 2019
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource


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