PAF pilots, crew sent off to Turkey for T129 ATAK attack helicopter training

The Philippine Air Force (PAF)’s 15th Strike Wing has reported a send-off ceremony was held for pilots and crew who will operate the upcoming Turkish T129 ATAK attack helicopters.

According to the 15th Strike Wing, the pilots and crew will be in Turkey until August this year. Training will be held at Turkish Aerospace Industries, Ankara, Turkey.

In May 2020, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told CNN Philippines that T129 ATAK was already chosen for PAF’s attack helicopter acquisition project.

The Notice of Award (NOA) was already released, however, Secretary Lorenzana said at time that the contract with the Turkish supplier “has not been signed as we deal with issues on the contract itself.”

According to MaxDefense Philippines, “TAI has constructed 2 airframes for the Philippine order, and will have US-made LHTEC engines although it was not confirmed if the engines will be sourced from new delivery, or from Turkish stocks delivered to TAI before the issues with US export license came out. Delivery of the first 2 attack helicopters is scheduled by November 2021. Succeeding helicopters will be delivered in batches of 2 units in 2022 and 2023.”