PHL Air Force may consider Japanese Huey combat utility helicopters

Among the possible solutions the Philippine Air Force (PAF) is considering following the termination of contract for delivery of 16 Bell 412EPI combat utility helicopters from Canada is the acquisition of retired Bell-Fuji UH-1H Huey combat utility helicopters from the Japanese government.

“Based on information MaxDefense received this past few days, as a short term solution, the PAF is actually considering the possibility of acquiring surplus Bell-Fuji UH-1H Huey combat utility helicopters from the Japanese government, as the type has been retired from the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces (JGSDF) for a few years now,” MaxDefense Philippines said in an article on March 3.

“Take note that this is still a proposal and not an actual project,” MaxDefense noted. “According to a source from the PAF, these surplus Japanese Hueys are in even better condition that those actively used by the Philippine Air Force.”

The Department of National Defense (DND) terminated the 16-helicopter deal in February “in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and pursuant to the Government Procurement Law (RA 9184) which authorizes contract termination for the convenience of the government.”

“The termination was precipitated by the review ordered by the Canadian government on the implementation of the signed Contract Agreement between the DND and CCC (Canadian Commercial Corporation),” DND said. “The Department will continue to pursue the modernization program, and will look into procuring the combat utility helicopters from other countries in lieu of the Bell 412.”