17 Juni 2013

All PAF W-3A 'Sokols' Operational

17 Juni 2013

PAF W-3A Sokol helicopter (photo : helihub)

MANILA — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) on Friday said that all of the country's eight W-3A "Sokol" combat utility helicopters are operational and mission capable.

"They are all operational," said PAF spokesperson Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol.

Okol said that six of the helicopters are now being used for various missions from search-and-rescue, to administration lift duties.

"While two are for transition training. All are with the 505th Search and Rescue Group," the PAF spokesperson said.

The last batch of four W-3A "Sokol" arrived in pairs last Nov. 26, 2012 and Feb. 17 this year.

This is the last batch of four out of the eight ordered from Augusta PZL Swidnik of Poland sometime in 2010.

The four earlier delivered was commissioned and put in service on March 9, 2012.

The PAF's W3-A "Sokols" or "Falcon" combat utility helicopters are equipped with the latest navigation and avionics systems including a night vision goggle compatible cockpit, allowing it to operate day and night in all weather conditions.

This six-ton class helicopter can transport up to 11 troops in the cabin or can lift up to 2,100 kilograms using its external cargo hook.

This helicopter can also be fitted with a M-60D machine gun on each side of the cabin.

PZL-Swidnik is Poland’s the biggest aerospace manufacturer with the capability to design, develop and manufacture its own helicopters. 


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