Sunday, 22 May 2011

4 combat helicopters boost Air Force fleet

Florante Solmerin
Manila Standard

The Air Force is taking delivery of four combat-utility helicopters in November, according to Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Oban Jr.

The purchase of helicopters, worth P2.8 billion, is part of the Armed Forces’ modernization program to boost its aerial capability in support of the internal security operations, Oban said.

The helicopters are supplied by Swidnik of Poland. Which won the supply bidding in 2009.

Also due for delivery are two-seater trainer planes worth P621.67 million supplied by the Italian Aermacchi company; the upgraded (attack helicopters) MD520 MG units worth P240 million and erial camera (for helicopters) worth P50.98 million.

For the Navy, due for upgrade is one unit of British-made Peacock under the Jacinto Class Patrol Vessel project worth P353.65 million.

South Korea is also expected to deliver the Chamsuri class gunboat worth P279.97 million and a landing craft utility costing P178.93 million; a radio 20W worth P231 million; 2 1/4 ton troop carrier, and 1 1/4 ton troop carrier.

The Army expects to take delivery of night fighting system worth P341.49 million, and CMO audio/visual system worth P37.88.

“What I can say is for 2011 we will be able to enhance our capability particularly in patrolling our territorial waters,” Oban said.

On top of these deliveries, the Navy is also expecting the arrival of a Hamilton-class cutter in August. The vessel costs P1.2 billion to P1.5 billion. The US Coast Guard has phased out Hamilton vessels from its fleet.

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