The Philippine Fleet has activated its third Beechcraft King Air TC-90 patrol aircraft (tail number NV-394) during short ceremonies at the Naval Air Group headquarters in Sangley Point, Cavite Tuesday.
This was confirmed by Lt. Sahirul Taib, Philippine Fleet spokesperson, in a phone interview Wednesday.
Present during the activation ceremony were Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad and his wife Blesilda.
The NV-394 was among the three TC-90 aircraft formally handed by the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) last March 26.
With the turnover of the three planes, the number of TC-90s under Philippine service climbed to five, the first two of which were donated by the JMSDF on March 27, 2017.
The TC-90 was offered by Japan shortly after the Agreement Concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was finalized on Feb. 29, 2016.
It has a range of more than 1,000 nautical miles, and a cruising speed of 226 knots and is capable of carrying eight passengers along with the pilot.
The additional TC-90s are expected to boost the Navy's capability in intelligence surveillance reconnaissance, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, limited transport, and maritime air surveillance.