Acquisition of 24 armed helicopters approved in-principle by Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte approved in-principle in November 2017 the acquisition of 24 light armed helicopters with a proposed budget of PHP13.8 billion, this was highlighted by MaxDefense Philippines.

On November 21, 2017, President Duterte announced during his visit to Army General Hospital, Headquarters, Philippine Army, Taguig City that the government has a project to acquire attack helicopters.

“Meron tayong acquisition na 23 attack helicopters. ‘Yun supisyente na ‘yon for a – ‘yung mga rebellion-rebellion lang,” the President said.

Department of National Defense (DND) public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong, in November 2017, also made a confirmation regarding the said acquisition under Second Horizon of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program. “We are awaiting for the final approval of the Office of the President on the RAFPMP Second Horizon,” Andolong added.

MaxDefense said that back in August 2017 the original plan was acquiring 23 units worth PHP11.8 billion.

“Up to now, the technical specifications for the helicopters remain a mystery, but so far the specifications is expected to stick to a dual-engined lightweight helicopter,” MaxDefense said. “If that’s the case, the PAF is said to have shortlisted the Leonardo AW109LUH, Airbus Helicopters H145M, while also considering other offers like the MD Helicopters MD901 Explorer, HAL Rudra, among others.”

“Deapite being approved only in principle, the ball now appears to be with the DBM (Department of Budget and Management),” MaxDefense noted.