DND Chief Lorenzana:PH can look for other sellers of military helis

DND Chief Lorenzana:PH can look for other sellers of military helis

The dirty work of the opposition as against the incumbent President seems to have made a giant stride.

Early this week the Philippines was able to signed a deal with Canada to  buy for the Philippine Air Force sixteen (16)  Bell 412EPI combat utility helicopters  worth $233.36 million. The combat utility helicopters are to be acquired from the Bell Helicopter and Canadian Commercial Cooperation (CCC), and that said helicopters would only be used for humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations.

Reports has come out that the Canadian government’s move to review the deal of the sale of the helicopters following reports on human rights violations allegedly done by the present administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.   *

Presidential Spokesperson has also reiterated that the Bell helicopters will be primarily used for human assistance and disaster response missions (photo credit to PAF)

“The 16 brand new Bell 412 helicopters, which we are procuring for the Armed Forces of Philippines, will primarily be used for the transportation of personnel and supplies, ferrying wounded and injured soldiers, and the conduct of humanitarian and assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations. They are not attack or close support aircraft,” Department of National Secretary Secretary Delfin Lorenzana  said in a statement.

“While they may be used in support of Internal Security Operations or ISO, their role is limited to those that I mentioned. As its designation “Combat Utility Helicopter or CUH” connotes, the Bell CUH 412 is a utility helicopter and, contrary to what some parties mistakenly believe, its mission is to save lives,” the defense chief added.

The DND Chief has stressed that the Philippines is ready to acquire much needed aircraft from other sources should the Canadian government pursues its decision not to push through with the signed deal.

It was last Dec. 29, 2017 that Secretary Lorenzana  and representatives of Bell Helicopter and CCC signed the deal for the purchase of the helicopters worth PHP12 billion.

The expected delivery of the initial batch of helicopter units was supposed to start by the first quarter of 2019 while the last batch will be handed over by the middle of the year in 2020.  *

These aircraft are fully configured and equipped with advance features, which includes an electronic engine control, a glass cockpit display system and Garmin touchscreen navigation system.

Generally, these helicopters are capable of carrying 14 passengers and flying at a maximum speed of 140 knots (around 259 kilometers), cruise speed of 122 knots (226 kilometers per hour) and a range of 402 nautical miles (745 kilometers). It is powered with an enhanced Pratt and Whitney PT6T-3D Twin Pac.

Report from PNA

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