AFP may consider Japanese Hueys after cancellation of purchase of Bell helis from Canada

AFP may consider Japanese Hueys after cancellation of purchase of Bell helis from Canada

The purchase of sixteen (16) brand new Bell 412EPI helicopters would have been a great leap in the capability of the Philippine Air Force in pursuit of its mandate.

Last February, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed a P12 Billion worth of contract for the purchase 16 new Bell412 EPI helicopters fully configured and equipped with advance features for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines long delayed modernization program.

The purchase was done by way of a government-to-government contract with the Canadian Commercial Cooperation (CCC). But few days after the signing of the purchase agreement, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte abruptly cancelled the contract to buy the 16 combat utility helicopters from Canada after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government ordered a review of human rights records of the Philippines under the Duterte administration. *

A Bell-Fuji UH-1H Huey of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force (photo credited and taken from

Max Montero in his popular defense blog “MaxDefense Philippines” gave a very “uplifting” scenario where the Philippines can still make do of short and long term solution that was posed by the cancellation of the purchase of helicopters form Canada.


He suggested that the Philippines can acquire surplus combat utility helicopters from the Japanse government, as these kind of helicopters - Bell-Fuji UH-1H Huey combat utility helicopters have been retired from military service for a few years now.


For purposes of full understanding and clarity ,we have quoted  in full the whole article written by Mr. Montero for the convenience and knowledge of our reading public.


Philippine Air Force May Consider ex-JGSDF UH-1H Hueys as Short Term Solution for CUH Project Delays.


With the Philippine Air Force (PAF) not proceeding with the acquisition of more Bell 412EPIs combat utility helicopters from Bell Helicopter Textron after the problems encountered with the Canadian government, other options are being considered for short to long term solutions.

Based on information MaxDefense received this past few days, as a short term solution, the PAF is actually considering the possibility of acquiring surplus Bell-Fuji UH-1H Huey combat utility helicopters from the Japanese government, as the type has been retired from the Japan Ground Self Defense Forces (JGSDF) for a few years now. It would be worth noting that the
Philippines and Japan has agreed to transfer their stock of UH-1H parts to the Philippine Air Force in a separate agreement, and it would be expected to be easy to possibly approve a request to transfer surplus working airframes as well.  *

Take note that this is still a proposal and not an actual project.

According to a source from the PAF, these surplus Japanese Hueys are in even better condition that those actively used by the Philippine Air Force. And even if the PAF decides to only bring a few into service, it would definitely be a big boost for the fleet as the PAF's Hueys and other utility helicopters are dwindling in numbers despite the addition of 13 Bell-Dornier UH-1D Delta Hueys and Super Delta Huey helicopters delivered by Rice Aviation Services Inc (RASI) a few years ago (2 Deltas Huey helicopters crashed in separate incidents since then). It was mentioned years ago that the PAF needs at least 100 readily available CUHs, which means a fleet of at least 150 CUHs for the entire fleet.

It is also worth noting that these Bell-Fuji UH-1H Hueys are different from the Bell-Fuji UH-1J Hueys, The Bell-Fuji UH-1H are similar to the bread and butter Bell UH-1H Hueys used by the PAF, while the Bell Fuji UH-1J are similar to the PAF's own Super Hueys and Super Delta helicopters. The JGSDF has not yet retired their UH-1Js, which will only happen a few years from now once a replacement becomes available.   *

MaxDefense also received confirmation that at least 2 other options previously discussed in our earlier blog were requested to submit a formal offer to the Combat Utility Helicopter (CUH) Technical Working Group (TWG). One involve a brand-new offer from a larger helicopter company. Since we believe the formal offer is yet to be provided, MaxDefense will keep the information for now until it is clear and confirmed good for public consumption.

Until then, keep tab of this blog entry which we will also use should this plan become a reality.

 Report from MaxDefense

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