PHL Navy eyeing to acquire 2 more anti-submarine helicopters

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The Philippine Navy is eyeing to acquire 2 more anti-submarine warfare helicopters as it also plans to acquire two new corvettes under the Second Horizon of Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program, Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said.

“We will also be acquiring two additional anti-submarine warfare helicopters to provide extended range patrol for the two corvettes that we will be acquiring in the future,” Vice Admiral Empedrad said as quoted by Inquirer.net during the decommissioning ceremony of Navy’s “legacy” assets on January 29.

“‘Yong corvette may provision ‘yon na need ng anti-submarine warfare helicopter. So sinama namin sa Horizon 2, we will program that. Pagdating ng corvette may kasama din na AW159 every time that she goes on patrol,” he said.

In November 2019, the Department of National Defense (DND) and South Korean Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) singed an understanding “for the design and construction of new patrol combat corvette the Philippine Navy is going to acquire next year.”

The Philippine Navy has in its possession two AW-159 anti-submarine warfare helicopters. These helicopters were presented in June 2019. These helicopters will complement the two Jose Rizal-class frigates currently being completed by HHI.

Earlier this month, Vice Admiral Empedrad said that the anti-submarine warfare capability of the two AW-159 helicopters will be in full operation later this year.