March 18, 2014

Philippine Plans to Procure 8 Combat Utility Helicopters and 2 ASW Helicopters

The Department of National Defense on Monday said it has allocated P5.4 billion for the acquisition of two brand-new anti-submarine warfare helicopters for the Philippine Navy.”The ASW helicopters is one of the projects included in the list of the AFP Modernization Program. The project is for implementation,” DND undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo said in a message to the PNA.

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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