The Philippine Air Force (PAF) aircraft are in dire straits with more than three-quarters of the jets being unfit to fly, PAF spokesman Miguel Ernesto Okol has said.

The PAF is dependent on aging OV-10 jets to patrol the country’s airspace and territorial waters, including disputed South China Sea areas claimed by several other countries.

The PAF operates 393 aircraft of which only 91 are ‘fully mission capable’, while the last fighter planes were decommissioned in 2005.

The PAF operates only one C-5 military transport aircraft for its 17,000 members, while two more are scheduled for procurement later this year or next year.

Agence France-Presse also quoted the Commission on Audit (COA) report as saying, “Considering this abject state of its air assets, which are mostly aging, the Philippine Air Force is ill equipped to be operationally responsive to national security.”