PH Air Force eyes 21 second-hand Huey choppers from South Korea
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has set its sights on acquiring 21 used Bell UH-1H, or Huey, helicopters from South Korea to bolster its fleet.
Maj. Gen. Simeon Felix, chief of the PAF’s Air Mobility Command, announced the acquisition plan at the 68th anniversary of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing on Thursday (Sept. 24).
He did not provide details, though.
Foreign news reports said that South Korea officially retired all of its Huey helicopters from service in July this year.
A senior official privy to the plan told INQUIRER.net that the helicopter acquisition from South Korea was still being negotiated.
The acquisition would also need the approval of the United States, where the Vietnam War-helicopters originated, the official said.
The 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing performs air transport, limited close air support, casualty evacuation operations through its Huey and Bell 412EP combat utility helicopters.
The unit is currently preparing to accept brand new aircraft. It is expecting to receive the first six units of brand new S-76i Black Hawk helicopters within the fourth quarter of 2020, Felix said.
The Philippine government had ordered 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters worth P12 billion. The 10 other Black Hawks are expected to be delivered by 2021.