08 Juni 2014
AW-109 armed version (photo : Gerrit Kok)
MANILA (PNA) -- With delivery and commissioning commissioning of the eight armed AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopters early 2015, the Philippine Air Force (PAF)'s McDonnell Douglas MG-520 "Defender" attack helicopters will get a much needed reinforcement in its ground attack missions.
This was stressed by Air Force spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya in a text message to the PNA.
He added arrival of the eight attack versions of the AW-109s will greatly boost their close-air support capabilities.
The AW-109s which the PAF will be getting is armed with .50 caliber machine guns and rocket launchers and will be used for the ground-attack-role.
The Air Force is expected to take delivery of its AW-109s starting January to July next year.
The PAF is known to operate between 12 to 16 models of the MG-520, according to military sources.
The PAF affair with the MG-520 started in the early 90's when 25 units of these excellent aircraft were delivered to country.
It was used with great effect against New People's Army (NPA) rebels and lawless elements like the Abu Sayyaf Group for the past few years.
The MG-520 is derived from the MG-500 light utility helicopter.
It can be armed with .50 caliber heavy machines and air-to-ground rockets.(PNA)
PAF MG-520 Defender (photo : worldmilitaryintel
PAF AW-109 Armed Version Pilots, Maintenance Crews to Start Training by July
Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya on Friday announced that pilots and maintenance crews of their soon-to-be delivered AgustaWestland AW-109 attack helicopters will start their training in Italy this coming July.
These group consists of eight pilots and 22 maintenance personnel.
"They will start their training by July in (Cesto Calende) Italy as part of the acquisition package," Canaya pointed out.
He added that this helicopters will boosts the PAF's capability in providing close air support to combat forces in the ground.
The PAF and AgustaWestland signed the contract last November.
The aircraft will be used to perform a range of duties including homeland security, armed reconnaissance and close support.
The contract also includes initial logistics support and training for aircrew and maintenance personnel.
The deal is worth P3.44 billion.
The PAF’s AW-109 attack helicopters will feature a dedicated mission package and equipment including a combination of weapon systems.
The AW-109 "Power" is a three-ton 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 AW-109s' 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 AW-109 "Power" and AW-109 LUH helicopters have been ordered for parapublic, military and commercial applications by customers in around 50 countries.