DND sticks with T129 ATAK attack helicopter

The Department of National Defense (DND) is moving forward with the acquisition of Turkish T129 ATAK for the attack helicopter acquisition project for Philippine Air Force (PAF), MaxDefense Philippines said in an article in its website posted August 31.

“Based on the revised Acquisition Decision Memorandum released by the DND and signed by Sec. Lorenzana recently, the decision is to proceed with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) offer with still the T129 ATAK attack helicopter,” MaxDefense said.

It added that “the project would remain as a Government-to-Government (G2G) deal with the Turkish government, and will proceed as plan based on the discussions made between the two countries since last year.”

MaxDefense added that it has been told “that the Turkish government and Turkish Aerospace Industries has assured the DND and the Philippine Air Force that there will be no problems in securing export licenses for US-made parts and subsystems, including the LHTEC-sourced engines and other avionics.”

In December 2018, DND and Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) of the Republic of Turkey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Industry Cooperation.

The said MOU focuses on government-to-government acquisitions, as well as the development, production, co-production, and transfer of defense technology between the DND and the SSB.

Secretary Lorenzana also confirmed in December 2018 that PAF technical working group (TWG) for the attack helicopter acquisition project chose the Turkish T129 ATAK helicopters.

He added that with the allocated budget for the attack helicopter acquisition project PAF may get less than 10 units.