Manalo said the acquisition process is expected to be completed by this year.The Philippine Navy earlier announced it is considering the AW-159 “Wildcat” made by Augusta-Westland.The choppers will be assigned to the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz.The AW-159 is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter.The AW-159, which has been ordered for the British army and navy, will serve in battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles.
It has a crew of two, has a maximum speed of 291 kilometers per hour, a range of 777 km, ferry range of 963 km and an endurance of one and a-half hours, (four hours and 30 minutes if fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks).The AW-159 is fitted with forward firing CRV7 rockets and machineguns, pintle-mounted machinegun, Sea Skua missiles and Sting Ray torpedoes and depth charges.
The acquisition process for the AW-159 is expected to commence in earnest once the Navy completes an acquisition deal for five AW-109s from Augusta-Westland by the third quarter of this year.
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