Fact checks about countries

The PH will not receive free stealth fighter jets from the US

The PH will not receive free stealth fighter jets from the US
The US has extended $100 million in foreign military financing after the Philippine government canceled a P12.7-billion deal with Russia, but the US has made no mention of giving free stealth fighter jets

The claim: The Philippines will receive free stealth fighter jets from the US from a $100-million modernization deal. 

Rating: FALSE 

Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made through a YouTube video posted by the channel “Defense Military News,” which has over 105,000 subscribers.

What went before: In July 2022, former Philippine defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced that the government would be canceling a P12.7-billion ($227 million) helicopter deal with Russia. 

The announcement was made after they realized that pushing through with the deal could invite sanctions from the United States, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Philippines had already paid a $38-million downpayment to Russia in August, according to Philippine ambassador to the US, Jose Manuel Romualdez.

Military financing: US Ambassador MaryKay Carlson announced that the US government would extend $100 million in military financing which the DND could use to offset the downpayment costs. Romualdez further said that the $100-million could be used to acquire heavy-lift Chinook helicopters from the US instead of the Russian Mi-17s. 

Chinook helicopters: The Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopters function as heavy troop and supply helicopters. With a maximum speed of 187 miles per hour, the Chinooks are much slower than American stealth fighter jets such as the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II, which can travel at approximately 1,200 miles per hour. 

Reports by Rappler, CNN Philippines, and GMA did not make mention of the Philippines receiving free stealth fighter jets from the US as part of the deal. – Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a volunteer 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.

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