Friday, July 20, 2012

PAF for new Helicoputers

Philippine air force plan to purchase later this year, 10 light attack helicopters.

Air Force Commander, Gen. Lauro Catalino de la Cruz, informing about the new purchase, said that the Philippines prefer the Italian helicopters because of their fighting ability.

The new helicopters are used to strengthen the fleet since the 1990s., American MD-520. The General did not say how much they will cost. Media have speculated that this was AgustaWestland A129 helicopters. Buying is part of the modernization Higher necessity , which includes 138 Philippine military modernization tasks. The government in Manila has allocated to it and the $ 1.8 billion (75 billion PHP). Plan to be approved by 31 July and completed within 5 years, mainly for the benefit of the Air Force and Navy.
Philippines bought previously worked 8 helicopters PZL W-3 Sokol. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, informing about the new program, said that in the next 2 years will receive a new light PAF gunships, light and medium transport aircraft as a replacement for the obsolete C-130 Hercules, as well as patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.

Philippine Air Force is in bad shape. The 393 aircraft, only 91 are able to perform operational tasks. The weakness of the army makes the Philippines are vulnerable such as in a dispute with the PRC for Scarborough shoal and several islands in the Spratly archipelago in the South China Sea. In June, Chinese patrol boat rammed a fishing boat with Filipinos on board. One of the fishermen killed, three injured and four were reported missing. Manila is powerless against these actions and is limited to diplomatic protests.


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