US Congress approves possible sale of Apache or Viper to Philippines – report

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MaxDefense Philippines said on June 19 that it “has received confirmation from foreign sources: the US Congress has approved the proposed Foreign Military Sale of either the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian, or the Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters to the Philippines.”

“The approval was said to have been made in the last week of May 2020, and paperworks are being prepared by the US government to make this official with the Philippine government,” MaxDefense added.

It can be recalled that US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on April 30 that it delivered the required certification notifying US Congress of the possible sale of either Apache or Viper to the Philippines after the US State Department has made a determination approving the possible Foreign Military Sale.

US approves possible sale of Viper or Apache helicopters to Philippines

However, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in an interview with CNN Philippines, June 3, “I don’t know if we can afford that now, because of this pandemic. We have [been] channeling a lot of funds to the fight against COVID-19.”

“As I have been telling the media recently, the 1.5 billion dollar, six units of Apache attack helicopter, and the 0.5 billion dollar cost of the six Viper helicopters, [are] too expensive for us,” he said. “The money that was given for purchase of attack helicopters is only 13 billion pesos, and if we buy the Apache we can only buy 1, if we buy the Viper we can only buy 2.” 

“So we are looking for other platforms that we could buy with the money we have. If we could buy six attack helicopters from other sources with the money we have, I think that would be more attractive than buying the American attack helicopters,” Lorenzana added.