MANILA, June 4 The Philippines is negotiating to buy 10 second-hand combat helicopters from Singapore to beef up the military's efforts to defeat Muslim and communist rebels, a senior general said on Wednesday.
The air force general, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the government had allocated 400 million pesos ($9 million) to buy the night-capable refurbished aircraft from Singapore in a commercial deal.
"This is not the first time we're entering into a deal with Singapore to acquire U.S.-made UH-1H helicopters," the general said, adding 20 similar single-engined aircraft had been transferred by Singapore in 2005.
The Philippines has 40 helicopters, mostly second-hand, donated by the United States as part of military assistance to fight communist New People's Army rebels and Muslim militants with ties to Jemaah Islamiah.
Last year, the government set aside nearly 8 billion pesos to acquire new attack helicopters and utility helicopters.
The new armed forces chief, Lieutenant-General Alexander Yano, said the military's aging hardware was affecting its ability to defend its borders.
"To be frank with you, our capability as far as these aspects are concerned is a little deficient," Yano told reporters on Wednesday.
"We cannot really defend all these areas because of the lack of equipment."
Trending On Reuters
A 27-year-old Syrian man denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when he set off a bomb outside a crowded music festival in Bavaria, an official said, in the fourth violent attack in the country in less than a week. Full Article | Video
- Munich gunman planned attacks for a year - Bavarian officials
- Syrian refugee in Germany arrested after killing woman in machete attack
- Democrats in disarray on eve of convention to nominate Clinton
- Civilian casualties increase as Afghan troops battle Taliban - U.N.
- ASEAN breaks deadlock on South China Sea, Beijing thanks Cambodia for support