DND pursuing PAF’s choice on helicopter acquisition

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has announced on Friday, December 7 that the choice of Philippine Air Force (PAF) on helicopter acquisition will be pursued.

“I think finally the Air Force TWG (technical working group) has come up with the recommendation that the Black Hawk is the best option that they will buy. So we will be pursuing that,” Secretary Lorenzana said.

He said that US offered 16 Black Hawk helicopters for PAF’s combat utility helicopter (CUH) acquisition project. Contract may be signed early 2019.

“We have limited money for that. We have only $240 million worth and the original pricing of this aircraft for the (Bell 41) we can get 16,” Secretary Lorenzana said.

“We only have limited money for that. We only have $240 million and the original pricing for these aircraft, with the Bell 412 we can get 16. Initially, with Surion we can get 10 because of the money. And it’s the same with Black Hawk but inakyat nila ang offer they will give us 16,” he added.

The defense chief also confirmed PAF TWG’s recommendation for the attack helicopter acquisition project which is the Turkish T129 ATAK. He said with the allocated budget, PAF will be able to get less than 10 units.

Sources: https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/12/07/1875028/air-force-chooses-black-hawk-turkey-attack-choppers-lorenzana; https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1061107/philippine-air-force-picks-black-hawks-t129-atak-choppers