Thursday, May 10, 2012

DND chief: PAF to have more air assets within the year

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be getting more flyable assets to fulfill its mandate to serve and protect the country.

The command will get two additional C-130 "Hercules" cargo aircraft, four more W-3A "Sokol" combat utility helicopters, and 21 refurbished UH-IH "Huey" general purpose helicopters before the end of the year.

"Our two C-130s will soon come out of its inspection and repair period and boost our 'Hercules" fleet to three. On the other hand, our W-3A "Sokol" will grow by eight as another four will be delivered by November to join the four earlier commissioned last March," Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

Aside from this, PAF will be putting into service 21 UH-1H "Hueys" into squadron service before the end of 2012.

The DND chief added that this is on top of the 10 attack helicopters following the signing and approval of the contract.

But when asked about the timetable on the PAF's acquisition of new fighter aircraft for its interceptor arm, Gazmin said that they are still in the process of assessing what is the most affordable and capable aircraft for the Philippines.

"We are in the process of the defense acquisition system that will be presented within the month and we are looking at several aircraft from South Korea, Italy, and the United States," Gazmin said.

The PAF is currently operating 48 UH-IH "Huey" general purpose helicopters, 18 MG-520 "Defender" attack helicopters, eight OV-10 North American "Bronco" turboprop bombers and three S-211 Augusta trainer jets.

Philippine News Agency/ People's Television | May 10, 2012 | Article Link

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