05 October 2011

Spain Ready to Help AFP Modernization

Constantino Méndez Martínez, Spain’s Vice-Minister of Defense

MANILA, Philippines - Spain is ready to support the modernization efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and is willing to provide equipment to boost the military’s capabilities.

Constantino Mendez Martinez, Spain’s Vice-Minister of Defense, said yesterday they are willing to give second-hand defense articles if requested by the Philippine government.

“A government-to-government transaction is possible subject to existing laws. I must stress that it is the Philippine government that should enumerate its needs,” Martinez told The STAR.

“It is every country’s right to state its needs and our role is to facilitate the (acquisition) process so we could hasten it,” he added.

Martinez is in the country to meet with officials of the military and the defense department. He arrived in the Philippines last Sunday and is scheduled to return to Spain tomorrow.

He was accompanied by Spanish military officials and officials of Spain-based suppliers of defense equipment.

The suppliers are ISDEFE, a state-run firm engaged in defense systems engineering consultancy; Indra, a firm that specializes in information systems and electronic radars; EADS, which specializes in aircraft; EXPAL, which develops ammunition and mortars; and UME, a Spanish military unit that deals with disasters and emergency situations.

Martinez said Spain has naval and air assets that may be offered to the Philippines upon the request of the AFP.

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