The Philippines Air Force (PAF) will receive 18 new SF-260 basic training aircraft, as part its modernisation plan.

Assembled in a facility at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, the Italian-made Strainer jets will add to the Air Education Command’s training squadron at the Fernando airbase in Lipa City.

The PAF will procure the SF-260, a propeller-driven two-seater aircraft, at a cost of PHP660m ($14m), according to BusinessMirror.

Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Oscar Rabena told BusinessMirror that only six of the old SF-260s remained of the two original squadrons, but some of them were still serviceable and could be repaired or upgraded.

The air force will also receive eight combat helicopters at a cost of PHP3bn ($66m) to replace its UH-IH Hueys.

The new generation of combat helicopters will include higher payloads and improved maneuverability.