Lockheed Martin pursuing fighter aircraft deals in Philippines

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Global aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin is interested in opportunities in the Philippines, including supplying aircraft to the Philippine Air Force, as well as other options which may help enhance its product and supply chain. 

Randy Howard, director for business development at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Integrated Fighter Group, said the firm is participating in the Asian Defense, Security and Crisis Management Exhibition and Conference being held for the purpose of addressing the requirements of the Philippine armed forces, police and security forces at the World Trade Center.

He said the company’s F-16 fighter jet could be an ideal choice for the Philippine Air Force. 

“How Philippine Air Force uses their fighter aircraft is completely up to them. The F-16 offers unmatched combat capability, unmatched air defense capability. It has unmatched combat radius unlike any of my competitors here in the Philippines. It can cover the entire archipelago,” he said. 

Aside from the F-16, Lockheed Martin through its helicopter maker unit Sikorsky is looking to offer the Black Hawk helicopter to the Philippine Air Force as well. 

Jacob Sifers, regional manager for business development at Lockheed Martin Global Inc. which represents Sikorsky Aircraft said the Black Hawk would be suitable whether the Philippine Air Force decides to use it for attack or combat or medical evacuation. 

“We see opportunity whether they’re modernizing, enhancing capabilities or planning for a new fleet. These are opportunities we constantly engage upon and try to educate user population what products we have to offer and how we can provide a solution to the operational requirements,” he said.

In addition, he said the company is interested in other opportunities which may help enhance its operations and products.

He said Sikorsky has recently approved a maintenance repair overhaul facility in Thailand.

“We can look to other things such as logistics, where you may have it for stocking location. We are always looking for that. Whatever can enhance the operational availability and the product we have itself, we are looking at those opportunities,” he said. 

Lockheed Martin which is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services, is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

At present, the firm has approximately 100,000 employees worldwide.

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