A delegation from the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), headed by DND Assistant Secretary Josue Gaverza, Jr., visited Russia on 03 to 07 March 2020 to meet with Sovtechnoexport officials and to visit the Ulan Ude Aviation Plant, in connection with the planned acquisition by the Philippines of Mi171 Heavy Lift Helicopters. The helicopter is a multipurpose transport aircraft that can perform combat, search and rescue, as well as medical evacuation missions.
The delegation members, majority of whom are veteran air force pilots, also visited the training center for pilots and maintenance crew, where they had the opportunity to try the pilot simulator systems used for flight training of the aircraft.
Other members of the delegation included Brigadier General Rene Honasan, Lieutenant Colonel Jeezer Molve, Major Arvin Acosta, and Captain James Esteleydes. Colonel Dennis Francis V Pastor, Philippine Defense and Armed Forces to Russia, facilitated the visit and joined the group during the inspections.
The group also met with Ambassador Carlos Sorreta, where they discussed possible defense and security cooperation activities with Russia.
The first batch of Mi171 helicopters is expected to be delivered by mid-2021.
Philippine Embassy in Russia