Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday explained why the government bought a Gulfstream G280 P2-billion US-built jet for Philippine government officials.
Lorenzana defended the Gulfstream G280 will be used “in the event of a crisis situation.” The jet will be delivered in 2020.
“Let me emphasize that we do not consider the G280 as a luxury aircraft, but a necessary component of the AFP modernization program for command and control of our Armed Forces to manage operations on air, land, and sea. This particular aircraft is being acquired for the purpose of keeping pace with current technological advancement,” Lorenzana said in a statement.
“It will be operated in consonance with other command and control platforms that we currently have, and those we plan to acquire in the future,” Lorenzana added.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced in a press release on October 2, 2019, that it has a contract to Philippine Air Force (PAF) through the United States government for the G280.
According to reports, the aircraft will be designed for control missions and command.
Gulfstream G280 P2-billion jet, not a presidential plane
The Defense Secretary denied the allegations that President Rodrigo Duterte and other government Duterte will use the high-end aircraft.
“The President has stated from the beginning that he does not want the procurement of an executive jet for his own use. This aircraft was not intended to be a Presidential plane but as a Command and Control plane of the AFP and the DND,” he said.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said Duterte did not request the P2-billion jet and that Lorenzana processed the purchase.
The President vowed his administration would not buy US military equipment after the US threatened to impose sanctions on countries buying military equipment from Russia.
However, Duterte had a change of heart, and he said he would reconsider since he “likes” US President Donald Trump.