Sunday, February 17, 2013

Air Force obtains last batch of 8 new W-3 Sokol helicopter

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - With the arrival of two helicopters in Manial early this morning, the Philippine Air Force has received all the eight brand new W-3A Sokol helicopters purchased from Poland, the military said.

The Philippines spent P2.8 billion ($70 million) for the acquisition of the helicopters.

Air Force spokesman Miguel Ernesto Okol said, "With the complement of the eight (Sokols), these will greatly improve our search and rescue capability."

Okol said the senior leadership, including Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Air Force chief Lauro Catalino dela Cruz, decided last year to utilize the Sokol aircraft for search and rescue missions because they are twin-engine and have more modern avionics.

The Polish firm delivered the four Sokols in February last year while two others were flown in to the country nine months later. All the six previously-delivered Sokol helicopters are now being used by the Air Force.

The PZL W-3 Sokol helicopter is a medium-size, twin-engine and multipurpose model made by Polish helicopter manufacturer PZL-swidnik.

The Philippine Star | February 17, 2013

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