Boeing eyes supplying PHL with attack helicopters

United States-based defense and aerospace company Boeing is eyeing to supply the Philippines with its AH-6i light attack helicopter, according to Shephard Media. Shephard Media is an international aerospace, defence and security business information, analysis and news provider.

Shephard Media interviewed Gene Cunningham, a Boeing vice president, at the Singapore Airshow 2018.

According to Boeing, the AH-6 is a highly capable light attack/armed reconnaissance helicopter specifically designed with superior performance characteristics and flexible, easily configurable mission equipment ideal for Light Attack, Precision Attack, Anti-armor, Close Combat Attacks, Reconnaissance, Security & Escort, Troop Insertion/Extraction, Combat Search & Rescue.

Boeing photo

However, MaxDefense Philippines said the final specifications for the upcoming Philippine Air Force (PAF) attack helicopter acquisition project is yet to be released.

“AH-6i won’t make the cut if the PAF continues to use its planned specs that include the requirement for a dual-engined helicopter model, and on the range, endurance, and max take-off weight,” MaxDefense said.

If the planned specifications for PAF’s future attack helicopters push through Airbus H145M and Leonardo AW109 will have the edge, MaxDefense noted.

President Rodrigo Duterte has been vocal about his intent to provide the air force with significant number of attack helicopters. “Meron tayong acquisition na 23 attack helicopters. ‘Yun supisyente ‘na ‘yun for rebellion,” he said at Army General Hospital, Headquarters, Philippine Army, Taguig City on November 21, 2017.