Mitsubishi Electric Corp. was awarded the contract for the Philippine Air Force’s air surveillance radar of its territorial airspace systems project last week. The notice of award (NOA) from the Department of National Defense was issued on March 4, 2020. The NOA is a written confirmation of the grant of a contract to a successful project proponent The government-to-government deal involved the supply of P5.5 billion ($103 million) worth of three fixed and one mobile radar systems.
Japan is considering selling air defense radar technology to the Philippines in what would be its first export of defense equipment since ending a nearly 50-year ban in 2014. Tokyo has not yet sold any defense equipment under the new rules. Japan sought to build submarines for export to Australia, but lost the deal to France in 2016. An effort to sell P-1 patrol jets to the U.K. also fell through, and Japan lost a bid to supply radar for the Thai air force to a Spanish company.
Earlier reports said Japan was offering an upgraded model of FPS-3 radar built by Mitsubishi Electric Corp. Tokyo is sounding out the Philippines about buying an upgraded model of the Mitsubishi Electric-made FPS-3 air defense radar system, which Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force has used since 1991 in missile defense and monitoring airspace incursions. Tokyo has already begun offering technical information on the system to Manila.Japan’s thinking goes that upgrading the less-than-cutting-edge radar to meet the Philippines’ needs will keep costs down, helping it win orders.
The equipment would bolster the country’s airspace radar coverage amid continuing external security challenges including China’s expansion in the West Philippine Sea. The project under the Philippine military modernization program’s Horizon 2 is expected to be delivered by late 2021 or 2022. The bilateral defense cooperation of the Philippines and Japan was strengthened in recent years through Tokyo’s assistance to the Philippines in the form of training and equipment donation.