The Swedish manufacturer SAAB has reason to be satisfied with its fighter, the JAS-39 Gripen. Indeed, despite the aggressive offensive by the State Department and Lockheed-Martin to try to get its Gripen out of Manila's good graces, Philippine Defense Secretary Carlito Galvez and Swedish Defense Minister , Pål Jonson, in fact signed a Memorandum of Understanding or MoU on the occasion of the Shangri-la meetings in Singapore, paving the way for the acquisition by the Philippine Air Force of the JAS-39 Gripen fighter.
For the moment, this MoU only attests to the opening of direct negotiations between the two countries for the acquisition of a dozen fighters, these being intended to reinforce the dozen FA-50 light fighters acquired from South Korea in 2012 , with the devices having been delivered until 2017.
For Manila, it is a question of strengthening its defensive capabilities, particularly in the face of rising tensions with China, whether around the question of Beijing's claims in the South China Sea, or Sino-American tensions. around Taiwan.
A few weeks ago, following the official visit of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Manila , to meet their Philippine counterparts and strengthen ties between the two countries linked by a defense pact, the US authorities had proposed the sale of 12 F-16V Block 70s to the Philippine air forces, in a plan including in particular the redeployment of US forces in the country as well as aid of $100 million to acquire helicopters of American maneuver.
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