“We appreciate the gesture of the State department but the PAF (Philippine Air Force) has already chosen their preferred attack [helicopter],” National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told CNN Philippines on May 3.
According to Secretary Lorenzana, PAF chose the Turkish T129 ATAK attack helicopter.
This is after US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that the United States State Department approved the possible sale of either the AH-64E Apache or the AH-1Z Viper to the Philippines. Required certification notifying US Congress of the possible sale was also sent.
Secretary Lorenzana said the contract with the Turkish supplier “has not been signed as we deal with issues on the contract itself.”
It can be recalled that the Philippines and Turkey signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Industry Cooperation on December 18, 2018.
The said MOU focuses on government-to-government acquisitions, as well as the development, production, co-production, and transfer of defense technology between the Department of National Defense and Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) of the Republic of Turkey .
During the signing event, the Turkish side gave the Philippine side scale models of the TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK attack helicopter and Ada-class (MILGEM project) corvette.