The Armed Forces plans to buy its third warship next year, after the second arrives from the United States.

“Hinahabol natin na magkaroon (ang AFP) ng tatlo,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in a briefing, when asked how many warships they plan to buy in 2012.

“For next year, my plan is to pursue agressively the modernization program and the capability upgrade of the Armed Forces,” Gazmin added.

Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay said they plan to buy the second Hamilton-class weather high-endurance cutter early 2012 with funding from the Department of Energy.

“Later next year hopefully ‘yung isa pa,” Tonsay told reporters by phone.

The Navy’s newest warship BRP Gregorio del Pilar is set to be christened and commissioned Wednesday for patrol missions in the West Philippine Sea.

Aside from warships, the Armed Forces also plans to buy fighter jets during President Benigno Aquino III’s term.

“As much the money can afford,” Gazmin said when asked how many jets they plan to buy.

Now retired AFP chief Eduardo Oban said earlier this year that the military plans to buy six jets. (John Roson)

– end –