Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Philippine Navy Air Group gets much-needed boost with the arrival of 3 AW-109s

The Philippine Navy said the number of flyable assets of its Naval Air Group (NAG) is getting a much-needed boost with the commissioning of the three AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopters on Thursday.

The Navy's AW-109s arrived at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City at around 1:25 p.m. Wednesday after a short flight from Sangley Point Naval Base in Cavite.

The newly-acquired air assets were flown to Camp Aguinaldo in preparation for their commissioning ceremonies Thursday morning.

Prior to this, the NAG only operates one Robinson R-22 helicopter, Blohm B0-150 helicopter, two Islander aircraft and four Cessna light utility planes.

With the arrival of the three AW-109s, the number of flyable assets of the NAG has increased to 11.

NAG pilots, who were trained to fly the AW-109s in Cesto Calende, Italy, said the AgustaWestland aircraft is very much suited for a rotary wing machine.

They added that the AW-109s is very maneuverable and very ideal for shipboard deployment.

The AW-109s will be deployed to increase the range, surveillance and detection capability of the two Gregorio Del Pilar class frigates in Philippine service.

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