Officials from Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) reportedly made a visit to Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo in Quezon City on July 3 to meet with Philippine defense officials. Among the topics discussed was KAI’s proposal to sell KUH-1 Surion combat utility helicopters for Philippine Air Force (PAF).
MaxDefense Philippines said it received information regarding the visit which was later corroborated by its sources in Department of National Defense (DND).
“It turns out that the KAI group met with defense officials yesterday related to the existing offer to sell KAI’s KUH-1 Surion combat utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force’s Combat Utility Helicopter acquisition project under the Horizon 2 phase of the RAFPMP (Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program),” MaxDefense said.
It can be recalled that the Philippine government already entered into government-to-government deal with Canada for the supply of 16 Bell 412EPI combat utility helicopters, however, the deal was cancelled due to impositions by the Canadian government.
PAF has an acquisition project under Horizon 2 of RAFPMP worth 12 billion pesos for acquisition of combat utility helicopters.
The government is yet to make a final decision on the said acquisition project after the cancellation of deal with Canada.
President Rodrigo Duterte inspected a KUH-1 Surion helicopter during his visit to South Korea last month.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. said that they are evaluating and PAF has a technical working group.
“I’m not looking the price. We’re considering what we really need. If we bought 16 Bell 412 helicopters, it could be equivalent to 10 to 12 Surion. The Surion helicopter is bigger. It can accommodate 16 passengers while Bell can carry seven,” Esperon said.
Sources: https://www.facebook.com/Maxdefense/photos/a.119059604931372.1073741828.117625771741422/746816818822311/; https://news.mb.com.ph/2018/06/06/ph-mulls-purchase-of-12-utility-choppers/; https://www.mintfo.com/security-defense/duterte-inspects-korean-surion-helicopter/4010/