AW-159 Anti-sub choppers of the PH Navy capable of disaster response missions

AW-159 Anti-sub choppers of the PH Navy capable of disaster response missions

The country is in the so-called Ring of Fire, natural disasters are bound to happen with respect to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and the ever frightening tsunamis. Not included in the list of natural disasters are the 20-25 tropical typhoons that hits the country every year.

Typhoons is such a common occurrence that we have been accustomed to its wrath and destruction.

The Philippine Navy spokesperson Captain Jonathan Zata when asked by reporters what other missions can the brand new AW-159s can do aside from its military missions.

Philippine Navy's AW-159 anti-submarine helicopter
(photo credit to owner)

Zata said, aside from detecting, hunting and if necessary sinking hostile submarines, the Philippine Navy (PN)'s two newly-acquired AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters are capable of doing tasks aimed at the preservation of human life especially in times of disasters.

"Secondary roles of the AW-159 include humanitarian assistance and disaster response operation/search-and-rescue(HADR/SAR) and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC)," he added in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Such capability is welcomed since the Philippine Navy is one of the first responders in times of calamities.

Zata said the two "Wildcat" helicopters will be deployed aboard the two brand new Jose Rizal-class missile frigates, being constructed in South Korean and scheduled for delivery in 2020.
The aircraft were acquired for PHP5.4 billion including its munition, mission essential equipment and integrated logistic support.
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 (four hours and 30 minutes if fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks).
The AW-159s can also be armed with rockets, machine guns, missiles, torpedoes and depth charges and fitted with modern sonar systems for tracking down submarines.

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Report from PNA

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