US, Russia, Turkey, Korea offer to supply PAF with helicopters

Helicopter manufacturers from United States, Russia, Turkey and South Korea are offering to supply the Philippine Air Force with combat utility helicopters (CUHs), Department of National Defense (DND) Public Affairs Service chief Arsenio Andolong told Manila Times on July 8.

PAF technical working group (TWG) is currently studying viability of the offers. Representatives of interested suppliers already held talks with defense and PAF officials.

“The Air Force is taking these steps, which is to look for other sources as replacement to the cancelled deal on the helicopters with Canada,” Andolong said.

It can be recalled that the Philippine government already entered into government-to-government deal with Canada for the supply of 16 Bell 412EPI CUHs, however, the deal was ordered cancelled by President Rodrigo Duterte due to usage conditions by the Canadian government.

President Duterte said during the 117th anniversary of the Office of the Solicitor General in Pasay City on July 3 that he wants acquisition of new helicopters be finalized immediately.

“I’m giving you until July to produce that production document. I want that helicopters by the end of the year. Mamaya may gulo dito, magkakandahirap naman ako niyan,” he said.

PAF has an acquisition project for CUHs worth 12.1 billion pesos under Horizon 2 of Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program (H2 RAFPMP).

PAF also has an Attack Helicopter Acquisition Project allocated with 13.8 billion pesos under H2 RAFPMP.