AW-159 helis to protect PH primary sea routes

AW-159 helis to protect PH primary sea routes




The two brand new anti-submarine helicopters AW-159s will help the Philippine Navy (PN) in securing the country’s sea lines of communication (SLOC) or primary maritime routes used for trade, logistic and naval operations.
This was told by Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad in an interview with reporters.

The two newly-acquired  AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters (photo credit to Kevin Willis)

Empedrad called the acquisition as a “big leap” in the capability of the PN, as it now has the ability to locate submarines passing through the Philippines' sea lanes.
The PN Chief adds that the AW-159s are "top-of-the line" equipment, as these are equipped with sonar for detecting submarines and weapons like torpedoes, which are capable of damaging or even sinking a submarine.
Empedrad adds that with the country's vast waters, more anti-submarine helicopters and sonar-equipped naval ships are needed to fully protect it.
Empedrad added that the sonar equipment of the AW-159s will give PN personnel a chance to train and use modern sonar equipment.
The sonar capabilities of the AW-159 will be further augmented with the proposed upgrading of capability of the three Del Pilar class offshore vessels, which will include the installation of sonar suites.
P5.4B was the amount that was used in the acquisition of the two helicopters, included in that amount is allotted for its munition, mission essential equipment and integrated logistic support.  
The AW-159 can also be armed with rockets, machine guns, missiles, torpedoes and depth charges and has a top speed of 181 miles per hour and a range of 483 miles.


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Report from  PNA

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