10 Agustus 2015

Armed AW-109Es Commissioned; 2 Australian Donated LCHs Blessed

10 Agustus 2015

 PN AW-109E Power (photo : PN)

MANILA (PNA) -- The Philippine Navy (PN) formally commissioned into service its two armed AgustaWestland AW-109E "Power" helicopters in simple ceremonies at Naval Station Jose Andrada, on Roxas Boulevard, Manila Monday.

The helicopters are armed with .50 caliber machinegun pods and 2.75 inch rocket launchers.

Cmdr. Lued Lincuna, PN public affairs office chief, said that armed AW-109Es are also equipped with maritime air surveillance capability, amphibious air support operations and weather search radar and forward looking infrared systems that enhances the Navy's maritime air surveillance and close air support for ground troops.

The 8 a.m. commissioning ceremonies were spearheaded by outgoing PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan.

The last two AW-109E airframes arrived in the Philippines last December.

This is part of the five-helicopter deal, worth Php1.33-billion, signed by the Philippines with AgustaWestland early 2013.

Three of the AW-109s were delivered and commissioned in Dec. 22, 2013.

PN kanding Craft Heavy (photo : PN)

Millan said the acquisition of the armed AW-109Es are part of the PN's efforts in developing a robust island defense force and becoming an effective instrument of national development.

Meanwhile, the two Australian-donated landing craft heavies (LCHs) were also blessed Monday.

The two LCHs vessels were christened as BRP Ivatan (AT-298) and BRP Batak (AT-299) to preserve the distinctiveness of the two ethnic groups of Palawan and Batanes.

These ships were donated by the Australian government last January. They arrived in Sangley Point, Cavite last Aug. 7.

Milan said the addition of these vessels translates into the boosting of the capability of the PN to transport personnel, equipment and aid during humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. They will also be useful in transporting troops from one operational area to another. 

(PNA)

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