Second batch of Sokol choppers delivered to PAFBy Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines – The second batch of Sokol combat utility helicopters, aimed at boosting the military’s operations were delivered to the Philippine Air Force.
The two additional Sokol choppers were in addition to the first four choppers delivered in February, a statement from the supplier PZL Swidnik in Poland said early this week.
The contract, as part of the modernization program, involves the delivery of eight choppers and ground support equipment, spare parts, support services and training for aircrew and maintainers. The remaining two will be delivered in early 2013.
“This delivery marks an important program milestone for both PZL-Świdnik and the Philippine Air Force. The outstanding capabilities of the Sokol helicopter and its ability to perform a wide range of roles will further enhance the capabilities of the Philippine Air Force” said Nicola Bianco, Managing Director, PZL-Świdnik S.A.
The Sokol choppers were transported from Jasionka Airport near Russia to Clark Air Base in Manila.
The choppers arrived in the country on Monday morning via an Antonov cargo plane, the PAF said.
It added that the Sokol choppers would be turned over to the 505th Search and Rescue Group, where other four delivered earlier.
The helicopters, which have enough space for two pilots, two crewmen, three medical attendants and six rescued survivors, will be used for search and rescue missions.