The Philippine Navy (PN) formally received the remaining three units of the Beechcraft TC-90 King Air aircraft from Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD), in an arrival and transfer ceremony at the headquarters of the Naval Air Group (NAG), Sangley Pt., Cavite City on March 26, 2018.
National Defense Chief, Sec. Delfin N. Lorenzana, witnessed the event as guest of honor and speaker. Other attendees were JMOD delegates headed by Parliamentary Vice Minister of Defense Mr. Tatsuo Fukuda; the Commissioner of Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA), Mr. Yoshiyuki Suzuki; Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Mr. Koji Haneda; delegates from Japan Maritime Self Defense Force; and other AFP key officials.
The aircraft will be used to enhance the maritime surveillance capability of the troops.
The aircraft, received by the Philippine Navy, were formerly in service with the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) as training platforms. The aircraft are part of an assistance package of five TC-90s donated by the Japanese government to improve the Philippine Navy’s maritime surveillance capabilities. The agreement on the transfer was signed between the Philippines and Japan in Manila on February 29, 2017.
From November 2016 to November 2017 six Philippine Navy pilots were trained to fly the aircraft at Tokushima Airport. Philippine maintenance staff will also be trained. The first airframe was commissioned into the Navy fleet on November 2017, while a second TC-90 was commissioned on 19 March this year.
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) has operated a total of 40 C90 and C90A King Airs, with deliveries beginning in 1973.
These have been given various designations by the JMSDF and consist of 34 TC-90 trainers, five LC-90 transports and a single UC-90 which is configured for photographic aerial survey.
The TC-90s and the UC-90 comprise the 202nd Naval Air Training Squadron (JMSDF) based at Tokushima Air Base, while the LC-90s are attached to various Lockheed P-3 Kokutai (Squadrons) and a Air Transport Squadron 61 as liaison aircraft. In late 2005 the JMSDF marked 500,000 accident-free flying hours of the TC-90 trainer fleet.