Philippines is looking for S-211 jet replacement

Philippines S211 jet replacement
Philippine Air Force S-211 trainer and CAS jet.

The Philippines has started looking for a replacement for the S-211 trainer jet, according to official sources.

"We are planning for a replacement, research is ongoing, and there will be a presentation (of the possible aircraft models) to the senior leadership soon," PAF spokesperson, Col. Maynard Mariano, told Philippine News Agency.

In addition to pilot training, the S-211 is also used by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) for close air support and maritime patrol missions.

The PAF acquired around 25 S-211 units in the 1990s but attrition and lack of spare parts have reduced the number of aircraft in service to about three to five units.

These jets served as the Air Force's sole fighter aircraft following the retirement of the PAF's last seven F-5 aircraft, out of a total of 35, in 2005 due to airframe cracks, high fuel costs, and difficulty in finding spare parts. With the recent introduction of 12 FA-50PH supersonic jets, the S-211 has passed primary duties to the South Korean-made aircraft.

The S-211 is a double-seat jet that has a cruising speed of around 667 km/h (414 mph, 360 knots) and can carry guns, rockets, and unguided bombs. It was developed by SIAI-Marchetti (now Leonardo) starting from the mid-70s with the first flight that was made in April 1981. Leonardo subsequently replaced the S-211 with the more advanced M-345 trainer and light combat jet.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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