MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently received a medium lift aircraft and two ATAK helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
On Wednesday, April 6, the two T-129 ATAK choppers from Turkey and one C-295 Medium Lift Aircraft from Spain were turned over to the AFP in Villamor Airbase, Pasay City. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana led the ceremony, with AFP vice chief of staff Lieutenant General Erickson Gloria and PAF commanding general Lieutenant General Connor Anthony Canlas.
The two new ATAK choppers were delivered on March 9, part of the Air Force’s acquisition of 6 units of the said aircraft from the Turkish Aerospace Industries under the Horizon 2 of the AFP modernization program.
The new ATAK helicopters are two-engine, multi-role, and can operate in all types of weather. They are designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions of the military.
According to the Air Force, the new ATAK units will complement the existing surface strike systems of the PAF.
Meanwhile, the new C-295 aircraft arrived in the country on March 28, according to the AFP. The new aircraft was part of the first batch of deliveries bought from the Airbus Defense and Space company under the military’s Command and Control Fixed-Wing Turboprop Acquisition project.
The newly turned over aircraft is the first of three C-295 aircraft bought by the AFP. The new C-295 will be used to transport personnel and equipment. It will also be used for disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations of the military, according to the AFP.
For 2022, the military has beefed up its air assets through donations and acquisitions.
On April 1, the Philippine Army received a Short Sherpa aircraft donated by a private institution. In February, the defense department signed a $624-million contract to buy 32 new sets of Black Hawk helicopters. – Rappler.com