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FACT CHECK: PH didn’t buy 24 A-10 fighter jets from the US


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FACT CHECK: PH didn’t buy 24 A-10 fighter jets from the US
The A-10 Thunderbolt II, commonly called the ‘Warthog’, is not among the Philippine Air Force's fleet

The claim: The Philippines bought 24 decommissioned A-10 ‘Warthog’ fighter jets from the United States. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in a YouTube video with over 29,000 views and 66 comments as of writing.

The facts: No announcements of the supposed purchase can be found on the Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s official Facebook page or Twitter profile.

The A-10 fighter jet is also not on the list of aircraft on the PAF’s official website.

Deployment to the Philippines: The A-10 Thunderbolt II is an attack aircraft developed for the US Air Force. It has been used extensively in various US operations, such as Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom, among others.

The US has also deployed the aircraft to support its allies. In 2016, four A-10 fighter jets were deployed to the Philippines to conduct a flying mission in the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal. This came after the Philippines and the US agreed on five Philippine bases where US troops would be allowed to build facilities under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement.

According to a 2016 report from The Washington Post, the deployment of the fighter aircraft signals the US’ commitment to keeping the skies near the Scarborough Shoal open to everyone, especially with the rising Chinese presence in the area. 

The A-10 was also deployed to the Philippines during the annual US-Philippine Balikatan training exercises in 2018 and 2019.

PH eyes buying more jets: In November 2022, the Philippine News Agency reported that the defense department was eyeing the possibility of buying multi-role fighter (MRF) jets for the PAF.

The PAF is considering the American-made Lockheed Martin F-16 and the Swedish-made JAS-39 Gripen for the MRF acquisition program. Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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