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Philippines in the market for ASW helicopters

MANILA, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- As part of its efforts to improve the capabilities of the naval service, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) announced that it will be acquiring four anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters for the Philippine Navy (PN) within the period 2013 to 2017. 

Col. Arnulfo M. Burgos, Jr., AFP spokesperson, said the decision to acquire ASW assets for the PN is part of country's Medium Term Defense Acquisition List for the next four years. 

The ASW choppers will be assigned to the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and the soon-to-come BRP Ramon Alcaraz and hopefully to the two "Maestrale" class missile-firing frigates from Italy being eyed by the Department of National Defense (DND) for acquisition by 2013. 

Burgos declined to identify the manufacturer of the proposed ASW helicopters but said studies are now undergoing to identify the best and most affordable aircraft for the Philippines. 

DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin earlier announced that the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will be getting 10 brand-new units of Eurocopter attack choppers to boost its fleet. 

He added that this contract is worth P3.2 billion. 

Gazmin said that the DND has already presented it to the government policy and procurement board for evaluation. 

This was after the defense department recommended acquisition approval for the above-mentioned helicopters. 

And should the contract be signed anytime this August, the DND chief said that the first four units will be delivered within the year. 

"All these choppers are brandnew and fitted with weapons, navigation and sensor equipment," Gazmin stressed. 

The body of the Eurocopter is made from 80 percent carbon fiber reinforced polymer and kevlar, 11 percent aluminum, and six percent titanium. 

The rotors are made from fiber-plastic able to withstand combat damage and bird strikes. 

Protection against lightning and electromagnetic pulse is ensured by embedded copper/bronze grid and copper bonding foil. 

Eurocopter's armor can withstand 23 mm autocannon fire. 

The helicopter can be equipped with a variety of air-to-ground weapons, rockets, and even air-to-air missiles and state-of-the-art sensor and navigation systems. 

Philippine News Agency | August 17, 2012 | Article Link


  1. Anonymous10:56 AM

    Kung talagang gusto nyong mag acquire nyan bakit hintayin pa hangang 2017, how many years from now your Spratly Island already gone no need to buy any defense equipment the very important is this year and for the next year as the China already fortify their claim of 9dash including palawan many people advice you to go for land base defense its less expensive and even maintenance as well.

    for those planning better reject it since Ramos time until now only you people looking for planning never do the commitment of purchase immediately.

    even those Frigate still planning if the planning stop so what do you think will be happen to the country because only of your planning. never do right commitment to materialized immediately the purchase of Land base defense and the Fighter jets even the naval boat still on planning. you do understand what the so called priority and less priority thats why instead of focus on priority you focus on less priority.

    The malampaya asset was already giving the amount for upgrade the defense but what you buy the Vintage cutter from USA with out armaments so what you expect for it. Vietnam says big ship but little punch is that correct why because even herself he cannot protect how much more to protect the EEZ wake up call to you make sure your procurement is in right tract.

    1. Anonymous5:45 PM

      got your point bro. kaya lang dahan-dahan lang at baka madapa tayo. eto ngang nangyayari ngayon, mukhang nagra-rush tayo sa paghagilap ng armas dahil may pumapasok na kaaway sa bakuran. biglang tumahimik ang mga heneral at tagapangasiwa dahil kulang ng baril, armas, barko, gamit, eroplano, flashlight. lagot, dahil kundi iba ang ginawa ay baka iba ang mga nabili. pero sana, ngayon lang ito. baka darating ang panahon na mga sibilyan ang magtatanggol sa bayan.

      i suggest that the DND procure and acquire the necessary capabilities while we have good leadership (leaders) and an understanding congress. i say that much evaluation must have been made so there is no rush really in buying now. You know what we need. while the country modernizes its defense capabilities, let it be gradual and done intelligently.

      dahan-dahan lang hanggang sa masorpresa sila.

  2. Anonymous11:18 PM

    from my point of view, we can avail for now as many US WHEC as possible, let us say six(6), for modernizing our fleet.

    first, we can afford to have six WHEC, ideally one for each naval force. not new yet these are big, ocean-going and enduring vessels. vessels can do other roles like search and rescue.

    second, these relatively new vessels could serve as a passing event/place for PH navy before stepping into the more sophisticated vessels and weaponry. this is important because first we have to professionalize the crew, if not all sailors, soldiers and personnel, before embarking to a new phase. modern times mean not only knowing how to pull the trigger but to have the know-how and skill. regarding the maestrale frigates, the purchase can push through, anyway italy offers a good support system when it comes to training PH navy in manning the vessels and providing spare.

    third, we can also upgrade the WHECs by ourselves. let us try and learn now how to upgrade our big weapons. CIWS, much-needed radars and sensors, equipments needed in our waters, could be part of the last phase of the upgrade, when we have secured the appropriate funds.

    if we have six WHECs and two maestrale, with an ASW chopper assigned to each, plus the existing navy vessels and new vessels (corvettes, mpac, etc) to be bought for 2012-2016. (also keeping in mind the good offer of the japanese government of 12 new coast guard ships.) then, with the Coast Watch Stations that we hope to grow in number in the near future, the navy might have a small but deterring force while we wait for at most 3 submarines before 2020.


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