Warplanes: Two Nations Go Fighterless


October 9, 2005: Another Pacific island nation has gotten rid of its air force. Well, sort of. New Zealand sold off its warplanes, after disbanding its fighter force in 2001. Last month, the Philippines removed from service its eight F-5 fighters. These 1960s era aircraft were not much of a match for any more recent warplanes, and expensive to maintain. The Philippines, like New Zealand, has kept helicopters, and some reconnaissance aircraft, in service. The Philippines is also keeping in service five S211 jet trainers, which can be used for ground attack, or air-to-air operations (like against terrorists who have hijacked an aircraft.) In both cases, the nations in question saw no practical need for a jet fighter force. While this is dicey for the Philippines, which faces possible clashes with China, New Zealand is nowhere near any hostile nation’s air power. But the Filipinos are being practical, as they could never afford to buy and maintain warplanes sufficient to deal with a Chinese air threat. Like New Zealand, the Philippines depends on its friendship with the United States for protection. American warplanes provide better protection than any jet fighters New Zealand and the Philippines could put in the air.


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close