Philippines Enters Final Evaluation Phase for AW159 Helicopters
The Philippine government is edging closer towards the acquisition of two AW159 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters from Anglo-Italian aerospace company AgustaWestland as the acquisition programme has now proceeded with the final evaluation stage.
Alessandro Capocaccia, who handles external relations and communications at Finmeccanica's helicopter division, told IHS Jane's that while he is not able to comment as to when a contract for the helicopters can be expected, the company is optimistic that it will be awarded "very soon". "2016 will be an important year for the programme", he said.
The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) first opened the contest to procure two ASW helicopters for the Philippine Navy (PN) in September 2014. (Jane's)
Malaysia begins preliminary evaluations of AW159
Malaysia is said to have begun initial evaluations of the AW159 anti-submarine helicopter. Evaluations may be part of the service's effort to consider a wider variety of platforms for the requirement
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has begun preliminary evaluations of the AgustaWestland AW159 maritime and utility aircraft for the country's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters requirement, an industry source close to the matter told IHS Jane's at Singapore Airshow 2016.
The RMN has indicated a requirement for six ASW platforms that will be operated from its new Second Generation Patrol Vessel - Littoral Combat Ships (SGPV-LCSs).
Besides the AW159, the service is also believed to be evaluating other platforms, including the Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk and the Airbus Helicopters H225M, the latter being considered to leverage on commonality in training and operations with the country's air force, which is currently operating the EC 725 (an earlier version of the H225M, then manufactured by Eurocopter).
"However I would like to clarify that evaluations of the AW159 are just at preliminary stages and no flight demonstrations have yet been scheduled for the platform," said the source.
IHS Jane's understands that the evaluations include a request for information, documentation, and technical specifications of the helicopter.
The AW159 can be configured to carry a number of submarine-prosecuting systems, including active dipping sonar (ADS), sonobuoys, and torpedoes. Besides ASW, the platform can also be configured for anti-surface warfare and armed with anti-ship missiles, rockets, and guns.