13 Oktober 2014
AgustaWestland is set to deliver eight AW-109 attack helicopters starting January to July 2015 (photo : Johnny Cuppens)
MANILA, Philippines — New attack helicopters that can operate in the dark are set to arrive for the Philippine Air Force, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said.
The new units will have night vision capability allowing pilots to target hostile subjects even in the dark.
"We have capable helicopters arriving for the PAF," Catapang said while touring in Sulu on Sunday, according to a state news report.
Catapang said that the new helicopters set to arrive this year shows progress in the military's modernization campaign.
The Air Force earlier selected eight pilots to man and operate the AgustaWestland AW-109 Power helicopters and sent them to train in Costa di Samarate, Italy.
Also undergoing training are 22 maintenance personnel.
The Air Force signed the contract for eight AW109 Power light twin helicopters last November. The P3.44-billion contract includes initial logistics support and training for aircrew and maintenance personnel, the Italian firm said.
"These aircraft will be used to perform a range of duties including homeland security, armed reconnaissance and close support," AugustaWestland said in an earlier statement.
The AW109 Power is a three-ton class eight seat twin engine helicopter, dubbed as the most cost effective helicopter in its class for a range of government tasks.