MANILA — As part of its efforts to improve the capabilities of the naval service, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it will be acquiring four anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for the Philippine Navy (PN) within the period 2013 to 2017.
Col. Arnulfo M. Burgos, Jr., AFP spokesperson, said the decision to acquire ASW assets for the PN is part of country's Medium Term Defense Acquisition List for the next four years.
The ASW choppers will be assigned to the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and the soon-to-come BRP Ramon Alcaraz and hopefully to the two "Maestrale" class missile-firing frigates from Italy being eyed by the Department of National Defense (DND) for acquisition by 2013.
Burgos declined to identify the manufacturer of the proposed ASW helicopters but said studies are now undergoing to identify the best and most affordable aircraft for the Philippines.
DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin earlier announced that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be getting 10 brand-new units of Eurocopter attack choppers to boost its fleet.
He added that this contract is worth P3.2 billion.
Gazmin said that the DND has already presented it to the government policy and procurement board for evaluation.
This was after the defense department recommended acquisition approval for the above-mentioned helicopters.
And should the contract be signed anytime this August, the DND chief said that the first four units will be delivered within the year.
"All these choppers are brandnew and fitted with weapons, navigation and sensor equipment," Gazmin stressed.
The body of the Eurocopter is made from 80 percent carbon fiber reinforced polymer and kevlar, 11 percent aluminum, and six percent titanium.
The rotors are made from fiber-plastic able to withstand combat damage and bird strikes.
Protection against lightning and electromagnetic pulse is ensured by embedded copper/bronze grid and copper bonding foil.
Eurocopter's armor can withstand 23 mm autocannon fire.
The helicopter can be equipped with a variety of air-to-ground weapons, rockets, and even air-to-air missiles and state-of-the-art sensor and navigation systems.
Asian Defence News