Japan may give planes to Manila for South China Sea patrols

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Tokyo: Japan wants to give planes to the Philippines enabling Manila to use the same for patrols in the South China Sea. According to sources it could be a move that

would deepen Tokyo’s security ties with the Southeast Asian nation. Meanwhile, Tokyo and Beijing were not in good terms over the disputed waterway in the South China sea. Four sources having knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Japan was looking to offer three Beechcraft TC-90 King Air planes that could be fitted with basic surface and air surveillance radar. According to them the talks regarding this within the Japanese government were preliminary and would need to overcome certain legal hurdles. But it is said that these planes could not be an apt alternative to more sophisticated Lockheed Martin P3-C aircraft that Manila wants to track Chinese submarine activity. Senior Philippine military and defense officials in Manila said that they had not heard about the possible supply of the twin-turboprop TC-90 aircraft, which Japan has been using to train military pilots. Currently, Philippines doesn’t have enough aircraft to conduct regular patrols over the South China Sea. Availability of Japanese aircraft, even small planes, would help Philippines an inevitable military up-gradation. Philippines have only a handful of fixed-wing planes which can be deployed on maritime patrols. Even though Tokyo has no claims in the South China Sea, they are worried about Beijing’s construction of seven artificial islands in the waterway.   Video on Japan’s Beechcraft TC-90 King Air planes

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