Philippine Air Force (PAF) is set to receive all units of AgustaWestland AW-109E ‘Power’ attack helicopters before the end of this year, PAF commander lieutenant general Jeffrey Delgado has said.
Delgado was quoted by Philippines News Agency as saying: "We expect six more attack helicopters that will come before the year ends."
The PAF has already commissioned its first two attack AW-109Es. AgustaWestland is responsible for delivering eight units under a PhP3.44bn ($73.52m) contract signed in 2013.
Delgado also stated that the remaining six units will be mission-capable before the last quarter of this year.
The AW-109E is a three-ton class, eight-seat helicopter equipped with .50 calibre machine gun and 2.74in rocket.
Powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW206C engines, the aircraft offers better speed, capacity and productivity combined with reliability and ease of maintenance.
In addition, it features a spacious cabin that is designed to be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages in order to enable quick and easy conversion between roles.
Its safety features include a fully separated fuel system, dual hydraulic boost system, dual electrical systems and redundant lubrication and cooling systems for the main transmission and engines.
Recently, Bell Helicopter has delivered eight Bell 412EP helicopters to the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND).
The new helicopters are fully configured and equipped with advanced features, and are capable of meeting the DND’s modernisation requirements.
The helicopters will be used for combat utility operations, including relief efforts, and VIP transportation.
Image: AgustaWestland’s AW-109 ‘Power’ attack helicopters. Photo: courtesy of AgustaWestland.