Skip to main content

PAF Gears Up With Brand New Combat Utility Helicopters


 Jesus Villamor Air Base, Pasay City - The Philippine Air Force (PAF) will formally accept the initial four (4) of the eight (8) brand new multi-purpose combat utility helicopters as part of the P2.8B acquisition contract between the ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES (AFP) and WYTWORINIA SPREZETU KOMUNIKACY JNEGO “”PZL-SWIDNIK”SPOLJA AKCY JNA in a simple ceremony on March 9, 2012, from 8:00am to 12:00noon at the 410th Hangar, Air Force City, Clark, Pampanga.

     The arrival of these brand new CUH signals the near completion of the initial phase of the PAF’s Modernization Plan and people could expect more advanced aircraft acquisitions, apt for territorial defense, soon.

     In a press statement, PAF PIO Director Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto G. Okol PAF (GSC) said that the continuation of the AFP Modernization Program is due “to the strong determination of our  Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, not to mention the solid commitment of H.E. President Benigno Aquino III – our Commander in Chief, to see a modernized Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during his term.”   

     Dubbed as “Back to Basics,” the first phase of the Modernization Program focuses on improving the AFP’s ability to conduct Internal Security Operations (ISO). Under this phase, the target acquisitions include eight (8) combat utility helicopters, seven (7) attack helicopters, one (1) C-130 aircraft and a long-range patrol aircraft and 18 Basic Trainer Aircraft.

     For the Capability Upgrade Program (CUP), Okol added that “more advanced aircraft are expected in Phases 2 and 3 where PAF related components are grouped into what it calls “Horizon Programs”, with Horizon 2 expected to begin in the 2012 to 2016 time frame.”  

     For Horizon 2, PAF expects the delivery of Territorial Defense assets such as Surface Attack Aircraft, Lead-In Fighter Trainers, Long Range Patrol Aircraft, Air Defense Radar, and a Special Mission aircraft, among others which will greatly boost the country’s defense stance against external threats.

     Initially, Republic Act No. 7898, otherwise known as the AFP Modernization Act of 1995 has given the military the opportunity to modernize with a total fund of P331B. The modernization plan follows a strict schedule for upgrades in order to modernize the AFP to a level where it can effectively and fully perform its constitutional mandate to defend the sovereignty and protect and preserve the patrimony of the republic.

     Various domestic security concerns since 1999, prompted the AFP to realign its modernization priorities to procure the necessary operational and intelligence requirements to support Internal Security Operations (ISO). Along with the equipment acquisition is the realization of providing significant attention to the other four components of the program, which is indispensable for ISO.

     The Sokol helicopters, once formally accepted by PAF, will greatly boost the search and rescue, medical evacuation and combat utility missions of the PAF.  Certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), these 6-tonne class twin-engine helicopters have been proven to be effective, rugged and reliable in all weather conditions. An added feature (of a SOKOL helicopter) includes its high flexibility and significant internal and external cargo capacity – making it capable of performing a wide range of operations and an excellent utility helicopter.  

     With the modernization in place, the newly appointed PAF Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Lauro Catalino G. Dela Cruz AFP continues to initiate programs that will ensure that PAF also modernizes from within by strengthening the inner core of its airmen with  discipline, a strict sense and value for time, continued fiscal and financial reforms and an appreciation for the organization’s role in Internal Peace and Security Plan (IPSP) “Bayanihan”
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Comments

More Philippine Defense News

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

No reduction in AFP manpower size

THERE will be no reduction in the number of soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines when it implements the streamlining of commands by 2013, a senior officer told the Manila Standard in an exclusive interview.
“Under the Force Structure Review, there will be streamlining of units but this does not mean reduction in terms of the number of soldiers. In fact, the FSR calls for more recruits in the future,” the source, who requested anonymity, said.
At present, the military has a total of 125,000 soldiers, of which almost 85,000 are in the Army and the rest in the Navy-Marines and Air Force.
The FSR calls for an in-depth study of the AFP history in reference to pertinent laws of the land in conjunction with the challenges of internal and external defense.
The study also calls for the establishment of a strategic command that will focus on external defense where the main force would be the Air Force and Navy.
On instructions of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former military ch…

Philippine Armored Vehicles with ad-hoc wood slat armor

While searching for Philippine armored vehicles for the updates being done for both the blog and the Facebook page I chanced upon images of Philippine Army and Marine armor assets covered with thick wood planks as slat armor for protection from rocket propelled grenades. This caught the eyes of Popular Mechanics who published an article last June 8th just for this subject.


According to the article,
Wood armor on armored vehicles won't save them from ISIS rockets. Not sure, I'll leave that to the actual reports from the Philippine Military in using wood as an ad hoc protection for rpg's, but yes this is only during emergencies. The Philippine Army and Philippine Marines should employ or use the real add-on armors currently in the market for armored vehicle protection. Or they could just simply buy new thicker-armored vehicles to be used for front-line operations and have the old vehicles to be used in secondary missions or as support vehicles.



Nonetheless the fast-thinkin…