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Basic Trainer Aircraft Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

To recapitalize its dwindling number of basic/primary trainer aircraft in its inventory due to retirement of ageing assets, the Philippine Air Force has experienced a backlog of training activities for its new pilots, said to be reaching as far as 4 years.

With the PAF left only with a handful of SF-260MP/TP trainer aircraft, it has been determined that priority would be given for the procurement of more and newer trainer aircraft.

This allowed raising the Basic Trainer Aircraft Acquisition Project, which aims to procure 18 new basic/primary trainer turboprop aircraft to increase the number of aircraft in service while replacing retired aircraft that were taken out of service without a replacement coming in to cover their loss.

The project is considered to be the first that involves the acquisition of brand new aircraft for the Philippine Air Force under the old AFP Modernization Program under Republic Act 7898.

One of the 18 SF-260FH trainer aircraft delivered to the PAF. Photo credits to PTV News.


Project Summary:

Basic Trainer Aircraft Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 15 April 2023.

* End User: Philippine Air Force (Air Education and Training Command)

* Quantity: 18 units plus ILS package

* Modernization Phase: Capability Upgrade Program of the AFP Modernization Program (RA 7898)

* Project ABC: Php622,590,000.00

* Acquisition Mode: Public Bidding

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund

* Winning Proponent: Joint Venture of Asian Aerospace and Alenia Aermacchi S.P.A.

* Product for Delivery: SIAI-Marchetti SF-260FH trainer aircraft

* Contract Price:

* Residual Price: Php918,590.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 16 April 2023 (this post) 

* Status: 18 SIAI-Marchetti SF-260F trainer aircraft were delivered. Project Completed as of June 2011. PROJECT COMPLETED.



As part of efforts to modernize the Philippine Air Force, among the requirement that was in need of immediate concern was the dwindling number of basic / primary trainer aircraft in its fleet.

The PAF is one of the major users of the SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 family of light propeller-driven trainer aircraft, and has been using them since the early 1970s with 33 SF-260MP and 16 SF-260W to replace the Beech T-34A Mentor in the training role, and to provide light attack capability to strike units to complement the AT-28 Trojan, respectively. All the SF-260Ws have been retired, while some of the SF-260MPs remain in service although it remains how many are left.

One of the PAF's SF-260MP trainer aircraft, taken in 1979. Photo credits to Aria Deja Vu.

The PAF also ordered another batch of 18 SF-260TP in the training role to replace some of the retired SF-260MPs, with the improved Allison 250-17D turboprop engine, which were delivered starting in mid-1993. Some were transferred to the 15th Strike Wing as light attack aircraft later on to replace the SF-260Ws.

With the PAF lacking in sufficient number of SF-260MPs and TPs for training, the PAF has raised a requirement to procure newer training aircraft, preferably sticking to the SF-260 family to take advantage of their experience in the type.

One of the PAF's SF-260TP in light attack role with the 15th Strike Wing. Photo credits to PAF.

As early as 2003, it was already identified by the Philippine Air Force that it requires new trainer aircraft, although funding appears to have been a problem that did not allow them for such requirement to be met. 

It was only by 2006 that funding commitment has been secured, and the actual funding made available by 2007. This allowed the DND to start a public bidding by early 2007, with the submission and opening of bids held on 27 July 2007 with only 1 bidder, the Joint Venture of Asian Aerospace Inc and Alenia Aermacchi S.P.A, which took over the SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 production in Italy.

The company offered their latest SF-260FH, which is an improved version of the SF-260TP with the introduction of fuel-injection technology as well as improved avionics and cockpit design.

Post qualification inspections were conducted from 23 to 29 September 2007 in Milan, Italy, and the DND has released the Notice of Award in favor of the said company on 06 November 2007, and the contract signed by 2008.

Part of the deal was the local assembly of the aircraft, which arrived in the Philippines in knock-down kits and assembled by Aerotech Industries Philippines, and delivered all to the Philippine Air Force by April 2011.

The aircraft were all tested, and final acceptance and induction to the Philippine Air Force's Air Education and Training Command was made by June 2011, in time for the PAF's anniversary by July.

In addition, Aerotech Philippines donated two of its three SF-260MZs, which the PAF leased from 2002 to 2008 to cover the lack of sufficient training aircraft in its inventory. These were ex-Zambian Air Force that were bought and rebuilt by Aerotech Philippines.

The delivery was noted to address the three to four years training backlog in the PAF.

All 18 SF-260FH aircraft are shown after their delivery in 2011. Photo credits to PAF.

N O T E S:

One of the SF-260FH aircraft crashed on 31 January 2015 in the waters off Nasugbu, Batangas.

The report from Philippine Star is found below:


2 PAF pilots die as SF-260 plunges into sea

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star 
February 1, 2015 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Two pilots of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) died when their training plane crashed in the waters off Nasugbu, Batangas yesterday morning.

Reports reaching the PAF headquarters at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City identified the fatalities as Capt. John Bayao and 1st Lt. Nazer Jana.

The pilots were conducting air exhibition for the scheduled celebration of Nasugbu’s Liberation Day when their SF-260 plane crashed 150 meters from the shoreline of Barangay Bucana at 9:45 a.m.

Nasugbu police head Chief Inspector Pablo Aguda said the bodies of Bayao and Jana were retrieved about 20 meters deep and brought to Manila.

PAF spokesman Col. Rico Canaya said they have yet to determine the cause of the plane crash.

The PAF leadership, under Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Delgado, dispatched a team of air force probers to Nasugbu to conduct an investigation. – With Arnell Ozaeta      


With this, the total number of SF-260FH aircraft in the PAF's inventory is down to 17 units, plus two SF-260MZs and an unspecified number of SF-260MPs.


With the  SIAI-Marchetti SF-260FH trainer aircraft already delivered and formally inducted with the Philippine Air Force as of 2011, MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Basic Trainer Aircraft Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 


First edit and release: 16 April 2023
Copyright MaxDefense Philippines / Philippine Defense Resource

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