Today, there has been some rumblings about Pakistan courting the Philippines on buying the JF-17 Thunder. I firmly believe that the Philippines can’t afford anything that is coming from America and Europe. They don’t have the budget or money for any fighters from America and Europe. I know the Philippines have their hearts set on the JAS-39 Gripen but due to the cost and the politics of getting the JAS-39 Gripen, I don’t foresee the Philippines ever getting the JAS-39 Gripen. It’s why I have been advocating the Philippines look at Alternatives to American and European based fighters mainly because they come with strings and conditions. Here’s the Google plus post that talks about this;
In my Opinion, the JF-17 would the quickest way for the Philippines to gain a Multi role fighter. The fact that the JF-17 was originally designed by China but Pakistan is building them, operating them and exporting them. It’s also a fact that China has no intentions of operating the JF-17, so it’s why they helped Pakistan, design and build the JF-17. What the JF-17 would give the Philippines, is a very CHEAP Multi Role Fighter that’s easy on their budget. At $25 to $32 Million dollars, depending on which block they get, it would be far cheaper than the F-16 and the JAS-39 Gripen. They can get 2 to 4 squadrons worth of JF-17’s in a hurry. It’s why the JF-17 should be the Philippines first choice for Multi Role fighters based on cost and the fact that it’s cheaper than most American and European based fighters.
The other Fighter, I think would warrant some serious consideration for the Philippines is the IAI Kfir Block 60 fighter. Even though the fighter is over 41 years old and it’s in service with Columbia, Sri Lanka and Ecuador, shows that a 41 yr old fighter still has a viable role for countries like the Philippines who can’t afford the top of the line fighters. The IAI Kfir Block 60 would fit the Philippines for Air Defense and protecting their Air space. It’s very cheap and the Philippines can get an Air force in a real hurry. They can have a really advance Fighter at the cost less than an F-16 or JAS-39 Gripen
So in reality, I think it boils down between the JF-17 or the 41 yr old IAI Kfir block 60 fighter. Though in my opinion, I think the JF-17 block 2 or 3 should be what the Philippines be looking for. It’s cheap and they can get two to 3 squadrons worth in a hurry. As far as weapons, I would see if they can integrate Russian, Israel and Brazil weapons. That way, they have an Airframe from Pakistan and Avionics and Weapons from Europe, Russia and Israel. Though I firmly believe that the Philippines should talk to Pakistan on the JF-17.