Airbus Defence and Space, the military aircraft unit of Airbus, is banking on the Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization program to grow its business in the country.
“We are confident that we will increase our market share even further in the country,” Airbus Defence and Space head of South East Asia Johan Pelissier told reporters in a roundtable discussion in Parañaque City on Tuesday.
Pelissier noted that Airbus’ vision for its Philippines operations is anchored on the AFP modernization plan.
“What we see, according to the modernization plan, is that we have a portfolio fitting to the future requirements of the Philippines, which makes us confident that we have the right product to answer for the future needs of air transport, maritime security requirements,” he said.
The AFP modernization program was initiated during the term of then-President Benigno Aquino III.
It is divided into three, five-year horizons. Horizon 1 started in 2013 and ended in 2017.
Horizon 2 will be implemented from 2018 to 2022 and Horizon 3 is from 2023 to 2028.
In Horizon 2, approved by President Rodrigo Duterte in June, the Philippine Air Force will purchase multi-role fighter aircraft, radar system, light utility aircraft, medium lift aircraft, heavy lift helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, attack and combat utility helicopters, special mission and long-range patrol aircraft, and trainer aircraft.
Asked by how many percent the company intends to increase its market share in the country, Pelissier said Airbus Defence is still in its early stages in the Philippines. It started operating in the country in February 2014, when the PAF ordered three Airbus C295 medium transport aircraft.
The delivery was completed in February 2017.
Early this year, Pelissier said, Airbus Defence has pitched to the PAF its new airlifters A400M.
He said the talks with the PAF are in the early stages, but Pelissier declined to disclose details of their discussions.
“But we are confident for this new aircraft as this fits the requirements of the PAF… It has good value for money and it is more fuel efficient than jet aircraft,” he said.
Airbus Defence is also organizing this week the Asian Defense and Security 2018 exhibition to showcase its aerospace products to meet the defense, communications, and security requirements in the Philippines. —VDS, GMA News