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Singapore Airshow 2020: Viper and Gripen dogfight for Manila deal

5th February 2020 - 05:30 GMT | by Chen Chuanren in Singapore

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Philippine Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana confirmed in December 2019 that his country had downselected the Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 70 Viper and Saab JAS 39 GripenC/D as candidates for its Multi-Role Fighter (MRF) programme, setting the ball rolling for the final phase of evaluations.

As part of its Horizon 2 modernisation programme spanning 2018-22, the MRF aims to give the Philippine Air Force (PAF) the capability to better protect national interests, especially in the disputed South China Sea.

After decommissioning its Northrop F-5A fighters in 2005, the PAF lost supersonic combat aircraft capabilities for a decade until delivery …

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