The acquisition of two used Bell AH-1F Cobra attack helicopters for Philippine Air Force (PAF) offered by the King of Jordan Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein was confirmed by no less than the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) President Rodrigo Duterte during the 120th anniversary event of Philippine Navy on May 22.
National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr. “is now there in Jordan and I got this electronic copy for his authority to accept it,” President Duterte said during the Navy event.
According to Philippine aviation information page Pinoy Aviators, “these two real Attack Helicopters will be assigned to the primary attack wing of the Philippine Air Force, the 15th Strike Wing.”
PAF’s 15th Strike Wing is the primary provider of tactical air operation in support to AFP surface forces.
In PAF 15th Strike Wing, Pinoy Aviators added, the attack helicopters may be operated by either 18th Attack Squadron “Falcons” or 20th Attack Squadron “Firebirds”.
Pinoy Aviators said the two Cobras are “real attack helicopters that will boost the air to ground capability of the 15th Strike Wing.”
“This is a long time dream of our attack pilots from the 15th Strike Wing, the study, and recommendation of the AH-1 Cobra for the 15th Strike Wing actually started since 2001,” Pinoy Aviators said.
It added that the Department of National Defense (DND) is “in the stage of studying these two birds for a possible additional acquisition in the future from other countries like Israel who also operates the AH-1F Cobra.”
Sources: https://pcoo.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/20180522-Speech_of_President_Rodrigo_Roa_Duterte_during_the_120th_Philippine_Navy_Anniversary.pdf; https://www.facebook.com/PinoyAviators13/photos/a.542142562486654.130905.539201296114114/1856983821002515/