The United States has approved the sale of 12 F-16 fighter jets to the Philippines, a country enemy to China. Apart from that, the two countries also finalized the Sidewinder and Harpoon missile deal in the other deal. The total value of these arms transactions between the United States and the Philippines is estimated to be over $ 2.5 billion. The Philippines faces aggressive stance from China these days. This is the reason why President Rodrigo Duterte said there was no other way but to go to war with China in the South China Sea.
The Philippines had long sought multirole fighter jets
The Philippines had long been looking for a new multirole fighter jet. For this, it had preselected the American F-16 (General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon) and the Saab Gripen (Saab JAS 39 Gripen). Since the purchase of weapons is also done within the framework of international diplomacy. Therefore, the American Lockheed Martin fighter plane was preferred to the Swedish Saab.
Sale of 12 approved F-16 fighter jets
The Pentagon said the Philippines has requested the purchase of 10 F-16C Block 70/72 jets and two F-16D Block 70/72 jets manufactured by the Lockheed Martin company. The $ 2.43 billion package includes fighter jet parts and training. The deal also includes a long list of equipment sold in the F-16. This includes aftermarket engines, Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, tactical computers, AMRAAM missiles, missile launchers, sniper targeting pods, electronic warfare suite, more than two dozen other weapons.
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America also sells two deadly missiles
The Pentagon also informed Congress on Thursday of a possible sale of two packages of missiles to the Philippines. It has the Harpoon Air Launch Block II missile in the first 12 issues. The package also includes two training missiles, parts and equipment manufactured by Boeing. The cost of this package was $ 120 million. The second agreement was reached for 24 additional AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II tactical missiles. The transaction is valued at $ 42.4 million.
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Tensions with China over Whiteson Reef
There has been a decades-long dispute over Whiteson Reef in China and the Philippines. China claims the entire South China Sea, which also includes the Whitson Reef. At the same time, the Philippines describes this reef as an integral part of their country. Just a few days ago, around 250 Chinese ships, belonging to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army militia, were sighted near Whiteson Reef.
China captured the Philippine reef
A government body monitoring the disputed maritime border has said the gathering of Chinese-flagged ships, including four Chinese naval vessels, on an artificial island occupied by China is dangerous to the safety of shipping and marine life and threatens the safety of shipping and marine life. coral reefs. achieve. At the same time, it is also a threat to the sovereign rights of the Philippines. While China has declared that the relevant sea area belongs to it and that Chinese ships are stationed there to avoid bad sea conditions.