LIST: Philippine Air Force defense acquisitions and contracts in 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Former Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Galileo Gerard Kintanar Jr. on Friday detailed the list of the upcoming defense acquisitions and expected signed deals for the Philippine Air Force in 2019.
In his outgoing remarks at the change of command ceremony at Villamor Air Base, he said the Air Force is looking forward to the conclusion of three big contracts by early next year: the 16 Black Hawks from the US, which he described as “the best combat utility helicopter in the world”; six T-129 attack helicopters from Turkey, which he said was “at par with the best in the world”; and three ground based air defense systems from Israel.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said early this month that the technical working group of the Air Force has selected Black Hawks and T-129 ATAK for its combat utility helicopter and attack helicopter projects, respectively.
He said the Black Hawks from Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky were the “best option” to replace the cancelled Bell 412 EPI contract with Canada.
Early this year, President Rodrigo Duterte called off the deal to acquire 16 Bell 412 EPI helicopters from Canadian Commercial Corporation after Ottawa ordered a review of the acquisition as the choppers might be used for offensive operations instead of transport missions.
Kintanar said the Air Force also expects the delivery of the following in 2019:
— 2 Cobra attack helicopters from Jordan
— 6 Super Tucano close air support aircraft from Brazil
— 2 fixed wing Command and Control aircraft
— 2 radar systems from Israel
— 13 Hermes unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel
— Phase 1 of the Integrated Command, Control, Communications and Cyber System will also be implemented which will connect the Presidential Situation Room, the AFP Command Center, Unified Command Operations Centers, the Air Force Command Center, the Air Force functional commands, the Wings and down to the Tactical Operations Groups.
It also hopes to the receive the following:
— 2 C-130 cargo planes and 4 OV-10 attack aircraft from the US
— P721 million worth of engineering equipment for humanitarian assistance and disaster response and developmental work
“(The year) 2019 is particularly sweet, a giant leap in our quest to defend our precious skies, and keep our nation free,” Kintanar said. /je
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