PH, AgustaWestland sign 2 anti-sub helicopters deal
The Philippine government and Anglo-Italian manufacturer AgustaWestland formally signed the contract for the Philippine Navy’s first two anti-submarine warfare helicopters worth P5.36 billion on Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin represented the Philippine side while AgustaWestland senior vice president for sales and strategic sourcing Stefani Bortoli signed the deal at the Department of National Defense headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo.
Fernando Manalo, defense undersecretary for finance, munition, materiel and modernization, said on Wednesday that the delivery for the first helicopter will take place within 900 days after the signing of the Notice to Proceed.
“This will definitely enhance the capability of the Philippine Navy, for the first time we will have anti-submarine helicopters. This will deployed onboard the two brand new frigates that we will buy,” he said.
The Philippine government has allotted P18 billion to buy two brand new frigates, but is still under post qualification stage.
“After more than four decades of aspiring to improve its capability, our Navy has found optimism in this anticipated acquisition of a new state of the art equipment and weaponry to address the requirements of anti sub-surface naval operations,” Gazmin said in his speech during the contract signing.
The AW159 Wildcat, known as Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat, is also used by the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. It is designed to serve in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles.
The purchase of the anti-submarine warfare helicopters is part of the P44-billion multi-year contract approved by President Benigno Aquino III last November for seven big-ticket items to beef up the capabilities of the armed forces.
Included in the shopping list are two frigates, amphibious assault vehicles, long-range patrol aircraft, close air support aircraft, munitions for the FA-50 fighter jets and an air surveillance radar.
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