MANILA The Philippine Navy (PN) said it has enough personnel to operate and maintain the five Beechcraft King Air TC-90 aircraft donated by the Japanese government.
Navy Spokesperson Lued Lincuna said six Navy pilots and maintenance officers have completed the maintenance training in Sendai and Tokushima, Japan prior to the turn-over of the aircraft last March 26.
He said the Japan-trained personnel will serve as instructors of all Navy personnel assigned to fly and maintain the TC-90s.
PN flag-officer-in-command Rear Admiral Robert Empedrad said all projected pilots and flight crew of the TC-90s have undergone extensive training on operations, safety and other critical features of the aircraft in Japan.
"In addition, the Government of Japan has also committed to provide support in terms of spare parts and capacity building field of aircraft maintenance," Empedrad said.
The TC-90, which is part of the Beechcraft King Air aircraft family, was offered by Japan shortly after the agreement on the transfer of defense equipment and technology was finalized last February 29, 2016.
The first two TC-90s were delivered to the Philippines on March 27, 2017 while the last three were handed over to the PN last Monday, March 26.
The aircraft has a range of over 1,000 nautical miles and a cruising speed of 226 knots and capable of carrying eight passengers along with the pilots.
The Navy is operating around six Norman Britten "Islander" patrol aircraft, five AgustaWestland combat utility helicopters and one Robinson R-22 training helicopter.
Source: Philippine News Agency