3 brand-new naval choppers commissioned to AFP service

/ 04:39 PM December 19, 2013

AFP chief General Emmanuel Bautista inspects one of the three brand new naval choppers on Thursday at the blessing and commissioning rites. /AFP Public Affairs Office

MANILA, Philippines- Three brand-new naval helicopters seen to boost the country’s military patrol and territorial defense were commissioned to military service on Thursday.

Blessing and commissioning rites were held at the Armed Forces of the Philippines Thanksgiving Day at Camp Aguinaldo, with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin as guest of honor. It was also attended by AFP chief General Emmanuel Bautista and other high-ranking officers.


The choppers were also given their tail numbers – PNH (Philippine Navy Helicopters) 430, 431 and 432.

Three of the five Agusta Westland (AW109) choppers arrived early this month. Two more are expected to arrive next year. All the five choppers are worth P1.33 billion and is part of the military’s capability upgrade program.


“This will be a great help because our ships -BRP Gregorio del Pilar and Ramon Alcaraz will have helicopters aboard so it will extend the coverage of our patrol. And if there is an emergency they have something to use,” Bautista told reporters.

Two batches of pilots and crew underwent six months training in Italy for the choppers. The choppers are ready for deployment but more pilots would undergo training. They will be likely deployed to the two biggest warships — BRP Gregorio del Pilar and Ramon Alcaraz.

The naval choppers are capable of “wide range” missions such as economic zone protection, surface surveillance, search and rescue and maritime security. The contract includes initial logistics support and training for aircrew and maintenance personnel.

It has maritime air surveillance/downlink capability and could support Marines and special operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, maritime interdiction and aeromedical evacuation, among others.

President Benigno Aquino III will inspect the three helicopters and a new Sikorsky Air Ambulance and other equipment on display during the anniversary program on Friday.

Related stories

AFP modernization program


AFP modernization short of P10B

President Aquino orders release of P10 billion for AFP 

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: AFP modernization, Agusta helicopters, Military, Nation, News
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.