By Priam Nepomuceno

BOOSTING AIR DEFENSE. The newly-acquired TPS-P14ME Mobile Air Surveillance Radar System from Japan at the Department of National Defense headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Monday (April 29, 2024). The mobile radar system is part of the PHP5.5 billion government-to-government deal signed by DND and Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Company (MELCO) in August 2020. (PNA photo by Priam Nepomuceno)

MANILA – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. on Monday said the country’s newly-acquired TPS-P14ME Mobile Air Surveillance Radar System from Japan will expand the country’s “domain awareness” capabilities.

“It adds our scope of domain awareness particularly in the aerial domain, it adds eyes, kumbaga nadadagdagan tayo ng mata (we will be having more eyes or surveillance capabilities),” Teodoro said during the turnover rites for the mobile radar unit in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Teodoro led ranking military and defense officials in receiving the radar system from Japanese State Minister of Defense Oniki Makoto.

The mobile radar system is part of the PHP5.5 billion government-to-government deal signed by DND and Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Company (MELCO) in August 2020.

The deal also includes fixed FPS-3ME air surveillance radar systems for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

One of the FPS-3ME systems was already delivered and installed at Wallace Air Station in San Fernando, La Union on Dec. 20, 2023, while the two others are units expected to be delivered within the next two years.

“These are Armed Forces radars, we will integrate them within our system and we will devise a method where we can operate with them when necessary,” Teodoro added.

‘Critical component’ of PAF surveillance

Meanwhile, PAF chief Lt. Gen. Stephen Parreño said the TPS-P14ME “is a critical component of our surveillance and early warning capability.”

He said this system is ideal for the mobile platform due to its simplicity and energy efficiency.

“Truly it will play a significant role in bolstering the PAF’s capabilities in maintaining situational awareness in our airspace, ensuring that we maintain a watchful eye on the horizon for potential threats anytime, anywhere, crucial in light of an ever-changing geopolitical landscape in the region,” Parreño said.

This mobile radar system will be utilized by the PAF’s 580th Aircraft Control and Warning.

The pre-delivery inspection of the mobile radar system took place in Japan on Oct. 4 to 8, 2023.

The TPS-P14ME is capable of “high resolution surveillance of air and surface targets including aircraft, drones, maritime vessels, enabling us to track and identify potential threats with precision and accuracy.”

PAF spokesperson Col. Ma. Consuelo Castillo, meanwhile, said one of the advantages of a mobile radar system is its “flexibility” and the capability to be deployed easily to different locations, allowing the military to quickly set up surveillance operations in remote or strategic areas.

“The TPS-P14ME Mobile Air Surveillance Radar System significantly enhances the PAF’s operational capabilities by providing real-time situational awareness, early warning detection, and precise target tracking capabilities,” she said.

The acquisition of the TPS-P14ME is also a key milestone in the ongoing Armed Forces of the Philippines modernization efforts and symbolizes the deepening ties between the Philippines and Japan, Castillo added. (PNA)