The first test flight, manufacturer’s trial, of Philippine Navy’s first of two ordered AW159 anti-submarine warfare helicopters signals its completion, Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said after getting confirmation from the commander of Naval Air Group.
“As confirmed by the Commander Naval Air Group (CNAG), the AW-159 has just started initial test flight as part of the manufacturer’s trial. It is still scheduled for a series of test flights before scheduling its handover to the Philippines,” Andolong said as quoted by Philippine News Agency.
“According as well to CNAG, the flight signals the completion of the first unit,” Andolong added.
The test flight reportedly took place at AgustaWestland’s facility in Yeovil, United Kingdom.
The Philippine government ordered two AW159 helicopters from Leonardo, formerly AgustaWestland, with contract price of PHP5.4 billion which includes munition, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistic support.
The contract was signed in March 2016 under Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Modernization Program First Horizon.
Delivery is expected March 2019.
Sources: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1053033; https://www.mintfo.com/security-defense/phls-first-anti-submarine-warfare-helicopter-conducts-test-flight/7416/; https://www.mintfo.com/security-defense/photo-philippines-first-submarine-hunter-helicopter/7412/