The Philippines is to carry out a PHP7bn ($150m) air force modernisation programme to acquire new aircraft and surveillance systems to fight against Muslim separatists and Maoist rebels.

Under the modernisation, the air force will receive 15 combat utility and night-capable helicopters, ten refurbished UH-1H helicopters and a long-range maritime patrol plane.

The air force will also receive a refurbished C-130 transport plane, basic trainer jets and long-range radar systems, according to Reuters.

Lt Gen Oscar Rabena said the air force would receive eight combat utility helicopters from Polish company PZL Swidnik in 2011.