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Malaysia Panic – Philippines Purchases US G280 Fighter Jet for Surveillance of Sabah by Air

The Philippines has ordered a new business jet from the United States to serve as an “airborne command post,” officials said Tuesday, in an apparent turnaround from President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements that he would no longer buy American military hardware.

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., based in Savannah, Georgia, announced on Oct. 2 that the Philippine Air Force had signed a $37-million deal for a Gulfstream G280 jet.

“The G-280 will primarily serve as platform to carry our senior leaders and commanders in the event of, for example, a crisis,” defense department spokesman Arsenio Andolong told reporters.

“It can be used by the [military’s] chief-of-staff, the secretary of national defense, our major service commanders and the president,” he said. “Although you want to use the term lightly or loosely, it is similar to an airborne command post, it would serve that purpose.”

The contract, which would include parts, servicing and logistics support, was signed in November last year via the U.S. Foreign Military Sales and the jet is expected to be delivered in 2020, he said.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo on Tuesday said the airplane “is similar to an airborne command post.”

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