Military to get new choppers next week | Inquirer News
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Military to get new choppers next week

/ 05:08 AM December 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of National Defense (DND) said on Wednesday that the government expects to take delivery of the first two of six T129B attack helicopters bought from Turkey.

DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said the next two units would be delivered in 2023, and the last two in 2024. Once commissioned, the helicopters will be assigned to the 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force.

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In July 2020, the DND signed a P13.7-billion purchase contract for six T129B ATAK helicopters, developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries based on the Italian-designed AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta — the first attack helicopter to be designed and produced wholly in Europe.

It is equipped with Turkish-developed weaponry, such as an M197 20-mm three-barreled rotary cannon, Cirit 70-mm laser-guided rockets, Umtas antitank missile, and Stinger air-to-air missiles.

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The first batch of choppers was expected to be delivered by September, but was delayed “due to stringent logistics and administrative procedures,” Andolong said.

—DEXTER CABALZA
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TAGS: AFP modernization program, attack helicopters from Turkey, Department of National Defense
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