Thursday, May 29, 2008

Training aircraft to be built in Clark

CLARK FREEPORT -- An Italian defense contractor and a Filipino aviation firm here have signed an agreement for the manufacture of training aircraft. 

Alenia Aermacchi of Italy and Aerotech Industries Philippines, Inc. (Aipi) signed on April 25 an Assembly and Parts Manufacturing Agreement for 18 new SF 260 F basic trainer aircraft to be used by the Philippine Air Force (PAF). 

The 18 primary training aircraft will cost the government US$13.8 million. The amount includes the SF 260 F piston engines, pilot and technician training, technical assistance and the supply of ground support and spare parts. 

Teresa Parian, Aipi chief operating officer (COO), said the general agreement signed by the two firms "will definitely boost the aviation industry of the country." 

She noted that the general agreement is up to 2015 "which means that all orders that Alenia Aermacchi will receive in these next years worldwide will be assembled in and supplied out of the Aerotech Philippines facility." 

"Considering that 27 armed forces use SF 260 trainer aircraft all over the world, with about 1,000 units in operations, Alenia Aermacchi estimates 100 new units of this aircraft type to be sold in the next five years," Parian said. 

Alenia Aermacchi said delivery will start one year after the April 25, 2008 signing of the agreement and will be concluded within 18 months. 

Parian said Aipi, a registered locator based at the civil aviation complex of the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), has pioneered in the commercial support program of the PAF through its in-country major structural inspection of the S211 aircraft fleet. 

Also, Aipi has conducted maintenance and leasing of SF 260 M for the PAF's military pilot training for the past seven years and the inspection and services of Martin Baker ejection seats on S211 jets. 

Parian also said the firm provides representation and technical support to Singapore Technologies Aerospace Engineering's supply of 20 refurbished UH-IH helicopters and has aircraft spares inventory of about 5,000 line items. 

Sun Star Pampanga Article ..

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