PHL’s brand new anti-submarine helicopters are finally home

PHL’s brand new anti-submarine helicopters are finally home

Our two brand new AugustaWestland AW-159 “Wildcat” helicopters are finally home.
The two choppers arrived today straight from the United Kingdom.
The Philippine Navy (PN) now has the capability to detect, locate, and hint submarines with its brand new AW-159 “Wildcat” helicopters.

AugustaWestland AW-159 “Wildcat” helicopters from UK (photo credit to owner)

Navy flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, on  the sidelines of the send-off ceremonies for the military, police and government contingents tasked to secure the May 13 mid-term elections in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, said "These helicopters will give the PN the capability to detect and locate submarines due to its sonar capabilities," 
Empedrad laments that before the PN has no capability so this is a big leap for the organization, considering that in the past, the Navy does not have the means to detect subsurface threats.
The PN Chief said that the sonar capabilities of the AW-159 will be further augmented by the proposed upgrades of the three Del-Pilar class offshore patrol vessels, which will include the installation of sonar equipment.
The helicopters will be presented and will be placed in PN service after its blessing and commissioning ceremonies in Sangley Point, Cavite this coming May 27, which is also the Philippine Navy’s 121st founding anniversary.
The AW-159 helicopters are to be based on the two missile-armed frigates Hyundai Heavy Industries is constructing in South Korea. These aircraft were acquired for PHP5.4 billion including its munition, mission essential equipment and integrated logistic support.

AW-159 upon its arrival in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (photo credit to owner)

The helicopter has been ordered for the Royal Navy and British Army. It is capable of speeds of 291 km/h (181 mph), range of 777 km (483 miles), ferry range of 963 km (598 miles) and an endurance of one and a-half hours (fours hours and 30 minutes if fitted with auxiliary fuel).
The AW-159 can also be armed with rockets, machine guns, missiles, torpedoes and depth charges. 

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Report from PNA 

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