Air Force pilots to get more training on ‘Cobra’ choppers from Jordan

Two of the four Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots, tasked to man two Jordan-donated Bell AH-1S “Cobra” helicopters, will get additional training to become instructor pilots (IPs) and test pilots (TPs).

During the “Up-Up Pilipinas Padayon PAF” Forum at the Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on Saturday, PAF commander, Lt. Gen. Rozzano Briguez said the two pilots will stay in Jordan to complete their training to become test and instructor pilots.

The other two, expected to complete their basic training soon, are expected to return to the country soon to help with the arrival of the two “Cobra” attack helicopters which are expected in the Philippines early in 2020, Briguez said.

“Test pilots are needed to help fix the aircraft (if there are technical problems) while instructor pilots are needed to train additional pilots to man (the ‘Cobra’ attack helicopters),” Briguez said in Filipino.

Additional training for these pilots who became IPs and TPs are expected to last until December, he added.

By the first quarter of 2020, the “Cobras” and these pilots will return to the Philippines.

Briguez said this is the first time that the PAF will be using the “Cobra” in service.

The AH-1 “Cobra” is a two-blade, single-engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter.

It was developed using the engine, transmission and rotor system of the Bell UH-1 Iroquois. A member of the prolific Huey family, the AH-1 is also referred to as the “Huey Cobra” or “Snake”.

In September 2018, the Department of National Defense and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Freihat, signed the MOU during the three-day official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Jordan in September last year. PNA.GOV.PH