The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has no fighter jets to intercept hostile aircraft intruding into the country’s airspace, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Eduardo SL Oban Jr has confirmed.

The Philippines News Agency (PNA) reported the general as saying that since the F5 jets were phased out six years ago, the PAF has had no supersonic jet fighter interceptors.

Oban said the 1995 AFP modernisation plan to acquire new planes and armaments was severely hit due to the 1997 Asian financial crisis and is still struggling to upgrade its equipment.

The AFP will receive combat helicopters for the PAF from Poland in November this year.

The chief is determined to continue with the modernisation programme to upgrade the AFPs capability and to protect the sovereignty of the country.