Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana thanked the United States for its support to the ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program. This as the DND formally received on Thursday four brand-new Cessna 172S “Skyhawk” trainer aircraft worth USD2.2 million (around PHP112 million) which was acquired from the US Foreign Military Financing Program. The aircraft will be used by the Philippine Navy (PN) Naval Air Wing. Lorenzana also led the turnover, blessing and activation ceremony at Sangley Point, Cavite with US Chargé d’affaires Heather Variava and AFP chief, Gen. Andres Centino, and PN flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Adeluis Bordado
“As we rejoice over this milestone, we also recognized the productive and enduring relationship between the United States and the Philippines, which is the key to the success of this acquisition program. On behalf of the DND and the Filipino people, I thank the United States, represented here by Ms. Heather Variava, for assisting us with this acquisition. Your ardent support to the AFP Modernization Program is very much appreciated and valued not just by the defense and security sector but the entire Filipino nation as well. On our end, rest assured that we are committed more than ever to the alliance. We acknowledge our shared commitment to help preserve the peace and security in the Indo-Pacific Region,” Lorenzana said.
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is an American four-seat, single-engine, high wing, fixed-wing aircraft made by the Cessna Aircraft Company. First flown in 1955, more 172s have been built than any other aircraft. It was developed from the 1948 Cessna 170 but with tricycle landing gear rather than conventional landing gear. The Skyhawk name was originally used for a trim package, but was later applied to all standard-production 172 aircraft, while some upgraded versions were marketed as the Cutlass. Measured by its longevity and popularity, the Cessna 172 is the most successful aircraft in history. Cessna delivered the first production model in 1956, and as of 2015, the company and its partners had built more than 44,000 units. The aircraft remains in production today.
The Cessna 172S was introduced in 1998 and is powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A producing 180 horsepower (134 kW). The maximum engine rpm was increased from 2,400 rpm to 2,700 rpm resulting in a 20 hp (15 kW) increase over the “R” model. As a result, the maximum takeoff weight was increased to 2,550 lb (1,157 kg). This model is marketed under the name Skyhawk SP, although the Type Certification data sheet specifies it is a 172S. The 172S is built primarily for the private owner-operator and is, in its later years, offered with the Garmin G1000 avionics package and leather seats as standard equipment. As of 2020, only the S model is in production.