PAF team checks Turkish T129 ATAK helicopter

Personnel from Philippine Air Force (PAF) Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project under Horizon 2 of Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program visited Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) to check on the TAI/Leonardo T129 ATAK several weeks ago, MaxDefense Philippines said.

According to MaxDefense, this is a possible sign that PAF is open to changing the technical specification and requirements for the Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project from acquiring 24 units of armed light utility helicopters like Airbus H145M or Leonardo AW109, to acquiring lesser units of dedicated attack helicopters like the T129 ATAK or similar helicopters in the market.

PAF’s Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project under H2 RAFPMP is allocated with 13.8 billion pesos.

PAF is currently operating 8 AW109E helicopters armed with rocket-machine gun pods acquired under Horizon 1 of RAFPMP worth P3.4 billion.

MaxDefense also said that it “was informed last month by our defense sources that during the Senior Leader’s Meeting in June 2018, the Attack Helicopter acquisition was among the projects that will be prioritized this year.”