New Sokol choppers amaze Philippine troops


MANILA, Philippines—Philippine troops and civilians were awed by the latest military air asset acquisitions, which went on test flights Monday afternoon, a military spokesman said.

In a press briefing Tuesday, Colonel  Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr. said the Sokol choppers, which flew from Clark Air Base in Pampanga, amazed the troops and civilians at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija where the aircraft passed by.

He said, “The troops were impressed with the capabilities of the Sokol choppers as they executed several air maneuvers.

Major Enrico Ileto of the 7th Infantry Division said the Philippine Army Aviation Battalion of the Light Armor Division stationed at Fort Magsaysay may have been the first Army unit to establish radio contact with the brand-new choppers.

“Pulse rates ran high with enthusiasm for soldiers assigned here when they noticed a unique chopping sound of the air in the background being accustomed to the thud of a Huey helicopter or any other rotary aircraft the Armed Forces Philippines has,” he said.

The helicopters, half of the originally eight scheduled for delivery were from Augusta PZL SWIDNIK of Italy and Poland, arrived last week at Clark Air Base.

The Sokol helicopter or “Falcon” in Polish, is a “more capable utility platform” and can be fitted with equipment depending on the mission that makes it an “ideal utility helicopter” for the air force, he said. It has night vision goggle-capabilities and is equipped with an SN 350 autopilot, which means it “can fly hands free especially in long transit flights.”

While the Huey can carry only seven passengers, the Sokol can accommodate 10 passengers with a maximum takeoff weight of 14, 110 lbs. and an endurance of three hours and 19 minutes. It can reach a maximum range of 402 nautical miles in a single flight with airspeed of 140.5 knots,  Air Force spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Miguel Ernesto Okol earlier said.

“The Sokol is fitted with gun mounts for the M60D machine gun on both sides and when utilized during search- and-rescue or over-water operations, it can be equipped with pilot-controlled emergency flotation gear attached to the lowest portion of the aircraft. It can also perform various missions other than combat to support the country’s peace and development efforts,” he added.

The acquisition cost is P2.8 billion and the procurement has undergone “rigid screening process.” The rest of the helicopters are expected to arrive in the fourth quarter of 2012 or first quarter of 2013.

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  • MyBelovedPhil

    We need more accountability (stop corruptions) so it can help built up deterrence to our country sovereignty.

  • cheeckernook

    may those who handle this  will take good care of this air asset…

  • kismaytami

    Deploy those to Mindanao.

  • Datu_Bago

    Restore excellence and pride to our armed forces!

  • Pablo Juan

    finally _BRAND_NEW_ equipment!  Congratulations to all of us!

  • jen2

    Slowly but surely we are reaping the benefits of Pnoy’s anti-corruption drive.  Now, we already have the money to purchase these equipment at reasonable prices.

    • Albin

      jen2, si GMA at si Norberto Gonzales po ang uomorder ng Sokol. Talagang Feb 2012 lang ang first delivery,

      • Angel Divera

        yes order lang kaso walang pera sa panahon ni GMA kasi nasa bulsa na nya lahat. Kahit yung cutter sa panahon pa ni GMA nag order, pati Cobra helicopter kaso ni isa walang nagkatotoo kasi walang na ang pera. Sa panahon na ni PNOY nagkatotoo dahil sa pagtitipid at pagbawas ng mga buwaya at sana mabawasan pa mga katulad nila.

      • Jorge Apostol

         di pwedeng umorder na walang nakahandang pera…funds were available funds the order was released…the manufacturer had to manufacture the helicopters first…and the delivery was only scheduled after the helicopters were manufactured and tested…

        So, pogsnet, mag-isip ka muna bago ka mag-comment…kung hindi, magmumukha kang bobo…

      • Ryan Mikhael

         2009 na pa yan inorder. Di yan kay PNOY! syado nyo naman binibigyan credit si panot. magresearch muna kayo. budget was released in 2007 pa. umorder ng 2009. delivered lang ng 2012.

      • ofwme2807

        yan nga lang nabili ng panahon ni gma sa loob ng 9 years…andaming bidding sa dnd at afp modernization laging cancel dahil failed bidding at corruption hindi makapaconduct ng malinis na bidding sa panahon ni gma laging may corruption kaya daming cancelled

    • JK1000

      Pnoy is the only President who took seriously about the implementation of the AFP Modernization Program, NOT Ramos, NOT Estrada, NOT Gloria Arroyo coz they’re so busy pocketing tax payers money.

      • Art M

        Walang inatupag yung mga nakaraang pangulo kundi i-modernize ang mga bulsa nila.

  • Angel Divera

    May naibubunga din pagtitipid ni PNOY, I hope jet fighters na susunod. Saka our economy is getting its positive strength now if you people read the ph news in yahoo.

    • Guest

      Excuse me…

      This acquisition project was done during the time of ATE GLUE… and not PENOT..

      • ofwme2807

        oo yan lang nabili nila sa 9 years nya sa pwesto pati yun brand new daw na robinsons helicopter ni fat mike…the rest ng bidding sa dnd sa panahon ni gma laging may kurapsyon at iniimbestigasyon maraming bidding nacancel dahil sa failed bidding..

  • Art M

    Mas maigi na itong Sokol kaysa naman sa mga segunda manong chopper ni Mike Arroyo.

    • Boy Mcdo

      sokol – new helicopters of AFP. bukol – second hand helicopters from FG

  • Ryan Mikhael

    Mga igan .. di yan kay PNOY … kay GMA pa yan. TIngnan nyo … tamihik si Panot tungkol dyan. Nde kase sa kanya! 

    • Matrix

      Kung panahon pa yan ni GMA, sigurado ba yang” 
      undergone “rigid screening process.”  na sinasabi nila? Wala ba yang tongpats? Just asking

      • Ryan Mikhael

        kaya nga dapat magresearch ka muna para malaman mo yung totoo. nirepaso yan ni Pnoy nung 2010 at after finding na walang evidence of corruption eh itinuloy.

  • Edward

    kahit pa sa panahon ni GMA nangyari ang pag order nyan. Kung may will syang  imordenize ang AFP dapat minadali nya ang pag procure ng mga gamit. at hindi ang pag nanakaw  ang inatupag nya.

    • Ryan Mikhael

      Nde namna instant na gawa na yang mga choppers na yan. Di yan ready to buy sir.

  • Nagagalitna

    Nawa tutoo na brand new na ito galing pala kay Gloria ito eh kaya nakakatakot…HAHAHAHA!
    Anyway thanks doon sa bumusisi ng bilihan at sinigurado na di malusutan ni Mike Arroyo at nawa wag pabayaan ng mga maintenance ng Airforce mismo para di matulad doon sa mga dati nating F5 figther jets na natabunan lng lahar kaya sayang.

    • Ryan Mikhael

      Ang tamang gawin dyan eh ibalik sa Poland. lahat kase ng galing kay GMA eh masama! Magtiis sa bulok ang AFP :) ibalik na yan sa Poland at bumili ng iba.

      • bogs

        si PNOY ang omorder nyan … during his time .. hindi sa time ni gloriang mandarambong ….

      • Ryan Mikhael

        mag google ka. madaming news article nung 2009 pa inorder yan ni Sec Norberto Gonzales. Wag ka syado paniwala sa mga akala.

  • Guest

    pitiful are those people who have eyes, ears and brains yet, they can’t see, hear and without understanding.

  • Rod

    8 choppers for 2.4B or 300 Million pesos each. Hindi ba mahal yon?

     Wala na bang mas mura, na magaling din, bagay sa isang mahirap lang na bayan pareho natin? Why not we swallow our pride at maghingi na lang ng surplus doon sa America na tutal nageenjoy din naman sila ng mga pevilegeyo dito. Wag na tayo magkunwari na mayaman. Limos na kung limos iyan ang katotohanan na walang kaplastikan.

    • PHtaxpayer

      They are about the same size as the old Huey’s but more modern with that autopilot and twin turbines instead of just 1 so they are inherently safer and can fly in bad weather, unlike the Huey.  I think the old Vietnam-era Huey cost about $2-4 million back then which is about the same price today as a Sokol so, in that respect, I believe the deal is not bad. 

      Compare this to the modern Bell UH-1Y used by the USMC comparable to the Sokol – the American chopper costs $21.6M or about 2-3X the cost of a Sokol.

      • Rod

        I still think we will do with cheaper surplus. Bili o limos or both.  Mahirap lang tayo. We have our internal security to worry. Wala niyan, kahit toratora, ang MILF at ang NPA. We are not going into any war with our neighbors. U.S. will take up the bill of international wars for us, if any.

      • PHtaxpayer

        We are not carrying baboy or mansanas here…in military equipment, it either accomplishes the mission or its a waste of taxpayers money.  There is not halfway.  In war, you win or lose.  Walang surplus suplus.  Might as well sell your daughter to the Americans or Chinese if that’s your attitude (which is probably what we have been doing for the past 66 years anyway).

    • asdafaa qwesda

      Blame your congressman for not investigating or proposing a cheaper alternative that provides the same features and benefits.

  • Rod

    Blah blah blah blah 8 choppers for 2.4 B and they are worth every cent. sorry, impression ko lang habang binabasa ko ang balita. parang may pabango.

    cannot media just dish out facts less opinions. naghinala tuloy ako may comission ba ito si Frances Mangosing

  • diegogo

    nakakatawa talaga ang ibang mga Pinoy…ang sarap pitikin sa ba ya g. Dun sa kabilang article tungkol sa 2nd hand na barko ng navy merong mga tumutuligsa. Dito naman na brand new yung helicopter meron pa ring pumupuna. Symepre hindi rin kumpleto yung argyumento kung hndi kasama yung “credit” na linya….hehehhe, kesyo “credit kay Gloria, credit kay PNoy”….ang cute nyo ha. Sana isakay kayo sa helicopter at ihulog sa gitna ng Pinatubo….hehehe joke lang.

  • ChameleonO

    Fight the rebels with Sokol…

  • J

    Some info from the net says that Huey helicopter (civilian use) operating costs is $1000/hr and yearly keeping cost of $1M.
    Assume 3-hours per day ang average ng paglipad mga Php 48M per year at Php 44M per year ang keeping (maintenance, service etc) costs,  total:- Php92M/yr.

    Multipy sa 8-units hmmm…. malaking gastos = Php730M+ per year.

    Maaring ganun din ang operating at keeping cost ng Sokol.

    May nagsasabing ang Huey cost about $4.7M each. So ang Php2.8B makakabili ng more than 12 Hueys.

    • noelpogi

      Pls. look it up in wikipedia PZL W-3 Sokol.  Huey is a relic helicopter and a veteran of Vietnam war.

      • J

        My point was the expense of operation and keeping. If you buy used hardware then it is a veteran and relic. I know Huey was designed long time ago but it doesn’t mean it can’t be upgraded. PH bought US navy ships made more than 30-years ago but upgraded because military engineers knows they are reliable and of course save some bucks. So my POV is I will go for 12+ upgraded and revitalized Hueys… or even just 10… for same money at times of austerity.

      • marvin mencias

         the huey is effing obselete you moron

      • J

        Didn’t you read “upgraded and revitalized Huey”? You should read more about UH-1 variants to its latest UH1-Y Venom on why these choppers are still in use by US Military today and also why Augusta the maker of Sokol, licensed UH-1 from Bell.
        You just started and you should know it is impolite to comment just to offend others using words you borrowed. 


    Wow may SOKOL na tayo. 
    Di kaya may BOKOL nong binili yan. 
    O di kaya na LOKOL ang bayan uli.
    SEC,  may 200 ka dyan.
    May masaya na ngayan at nag JAK- -. Bow.

  • PHtaxpayer

    Actually this not a bad deal.  It is based on the Russian chopper, very rugged and reliable.

  • Ruben

    Is the SOKOL made in SOKOR (South Korea)?

    • Crinz Capati

      Nope, Poland.

    • PHtaxpayer

      No its Poland, probably licensed from Russia cuz it looks exactly like a Russian MI-8 (NATO name: Hip), the workhorse of Russian military since the 1970’s.  

      Take note Russian helicopter technology is probably superior to the US.  They build the largest and most powerful helicopters.  The American helicopter company Sikorsky is a Russian emigrant.   The American Apache was built because their attack chopper the Huey Cobra could not match the Russian MI-24 “Hind”.

      Poland also has the MI-24.  Those are badass.  Like the Apache only cheaper and bullet proof.  We should get those next to blow those Chinese fishing boats and oil platforms out of the water within 15minutes from Palawan!

  • dukaponte

    Pabayaan niyo na lang ang military ang magdesisyon anong gusto nilang bilhin. Hindi naman tayo ang sasakay doon, sila naman. Basta lang walang bukol.

    • occlownfish

      walang bukol yan (siguro) na award ang deal na yan during the 2nd invitation to bid for CUH.  1st bidding failed dahil 1 bidder lang and yung bid did not meet the specifications demanded by the PAF.  same din AH purchase program, na cancel yung bidding may irregularities na nakita.

    • joeldcndcn


  • sigena

    rigid screening ang bidding pero sa gabi to

  • binatangtagabukid

    nalala ko kwento ng kaibigan ko ng nag heliborne course sila pabirong sabi ng instructor “TRUST OUR PILOT BUT NOT THE CHOPPER”

  • Boying

    wow mayaman na naman mga buwaya sa pnp at afp nito!!

    • motorcyclemama

       I am convinced people with bad childhood usually see good things as bad things. Pity.

      • indiots

        ngayon nga lang tayo bumabangon sa national defense di pa nila ma-appreciate. mga ipokrito ang mga yon..

  • KraziFairy45

    sokol choppers were never reliable, even poland doesn’t use it.

    • Patas

      Get your facts straight.
      Poland is using them.

  • Max Cordero

    It is equipped with an SN 350 autopilot, which means it “can fly hands free especially in long transit flights.” WOW! Pwedeng pwede sa mga pilotong antukin. :-D

  • exterminator1

    It is equipped with an SN 350 autopilot, which means it “can fly hands free especially in long transit flights.” a nice feature for male pilots who are terribly missing the female touch hehe

  • randyaltarejos

    i think this is what the philippines airforce needs at this time when most of its choppers are already considered “flying coffins.”

  • Ruben

    Nokol chopper is better than Sokol because it’s made in North Korea.


    It’s a real deal because there is no corruption involved.

  • Karen Joy Saligumba-Lui

    nice we got new birds for our PAF the question is can we be able to arm this to the teeth? and whats next ive seen the pics but never saw any gun or rocket pods.

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