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Philippine Military To Get New AW109 Helicopters

November 8, 2013

Italian AW109

As part of an ongoing modernization program, the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will receive eight brand new AgustaWestland AW109 helicopters next year. The AW109 contract is worth an estimated $8 million.

A reported five additional AW109s are expected to augment the Philippine Navy (PN).

The AW109 purchase comes after the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) previous order for eight Polish Sokol helicopters. To date, no further orders for Sokol helicopters are on the horizon.

The AFP’s helicopter fleet is a colorful one, consisting mainly of UH-1H Hueys and MD-500 scout helicopters.

The Philippine government is also in talks with South Korea for a dozen FA-50’s to serve as fighter jets. The PAF retired the last of its F-5 fighters in 2005.

Official press release from AgustaWestland:

AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that the Philippine Air Force has signed a contract for eight AW109 Power light twin helicopters. These aircraft will be used to perform a range of duties including homeland security, armed reconnaissance and close support. Deliveries will start in 2014. The contract also includes initial logistics support and training for aircrew and maintenance personnel.
This contract further expands the presence of AgustaWestland in the Philippine helicopter market and adds one more military customer for the AW109 Power model in this country, following an order for three aircraft by the Philippine Navy earlier this year to enhance the service’s maritime operational capability. The Philippine Air Force’s AW109 Power configuration will feature a dedicated mission package and equipment including a combination of weapon systems.
Daniele Romiti, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said “It gives us great pleasure to sign this contract with the Philippine Air Force, further reinforcing the already strong partnership with the Department of National Defence. This latest achievement provides clear evidence of the customer’s confidence in the product while we’ve demonstrated that we are a reliable partner, able to offer a cost-effective solution. We are committed to deliver the improved mission capabilities and high quality services the customer deserves.”
The AW109 Power is a three-tonne class eight seat twin engine helicopter. The spacious cabin is designed to be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages for quick and easy conversion between roles. The aircraft’s safety and survivability features include a fully separated fuel system, dual hydraulic boost system, dual electrical systems and redundant lubrication and cooling systems for the main transmission and engines.
The AW109 Power’s superior speed, capacity and productivity combined with reliability and ease of maintenance make it the most cost effective helicopter in its class for a range of government tasks. Over 580 AW109 Power and AW109 LUH helicopters have been ordered for parapublic, military and commercial applications by customers in around 50 countries.

AgustaWestland is an aerospace firm owned by Italian industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica, which is currently downsizing to cover its debt.

The AW109 was originally designed for the civilian market in the 1970s but also found numerous applications in the air forces of a dozen countries.

Below is the report from The Philippine Star:

MANILA, Philippines – The government has signed a contract with Anglo-Italian firm AgustaWestland for the delivery of eight brand new attack helicopters worth P3.44 billion.

In a statement, AgustaWestland said the delivery of the AW109 Power helicopters would start next year.

The package also includes initial logistics support and training for Air Force personnel.

The contract for the acquisition of the attack helicopters was signed last month.

“These aircraft will be used to perform a range of duties including homeland security, armed reconnaissance and close support,” the company said in a statement posted on its website.

“This contract further expands the presence of AgustaWestland in the Philippine helicopter market,” it added.

Early this year, the company bagged a deal to supply the Philippine Navy with five AW109 Power helicopters for P1.3 billion.

The STAR previously reported that AgustaWestland had won the bidding for the delivery of eight Air Force attack helicopters.

The notice of award was issued to the aircraft manufacturer last September.

AgustaWestland said the AW109 Power is an eight-seat twin engine helicopter with a spacious cabin that could be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages.

The attack helicopters would be equipped with .50 caliber machineguns and rocket launchers.

AgustaWestland’s bid is P45,000 lower than the P3,441,460,000 approved budget for the project.

A financial bid, however, can be accepted as long as it falls within budget.

AgustaWestland said the helicopters to be delivered to the Air Force would feature a mission package and equipment with a combination of weapon systems.

“It gives us great pleasure to sign this contract with the Philippine Air Force, further reinforcing the already strong partnership with the Department of National Defense,” said AgustaWestland chief executive officer Daniele Romiti.

“This latest achievement provides clear evidence of the customer’s confidence in the product while we’ve demonstrated that we are a reliable partner, able to offer a cost-effective solution,“ he added.

It must be clarified that the AW109 is a multipurpose helicopter for either civilian or military use. While it can be armed for a close air support role, it isn’t a dedicated attack aircraft.

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