Fact checks on militaries

FACT CHECK: No Cobra attack helicopters donated by Japan to PH


This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

FACT CHECK: No Cobra attack helicopters donated by Japan to PH
There are no reports from either the Philippine or Japanese defense departments confirming the supposed donation of 12 AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters

Claim: Japan has donated 12 AH-1S Cobra attack helicopters to the Philippine Army.

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact-checked this: The YouTube video that made the claim has 26,348 views, 333 likes, and 18 comments as of writing. 

The claim was made in the video’s title: “12 helicopters donated by Japanese AH 1S Cobra attack will be received by the Philippine Army.”

No official announcements: No official announcements from news outlets or government agencies have confirmed Japan’s supposed donation of the attack helicopters to Manila. There are no reports from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) on its official website, Facebook page, and X (formerly Twitter) page. Likewise, there was no mention of the supposed donation from the embassy of Japan in the Philippines and the defense departments of the Philippines and Japan.

Current Cobra helicopters: The Philippines currently has two secondhand Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters donated by the Jordanian government in 2018. The two helicopters arrived at the PAF headquarters in Clark Airbase, Pampanga, in November 2019. 

The defense department said the helicopters will be used “primarily for close air support in internal security and counter-terrorism operations of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).”

The Bell AH-1 Cobra is a two-blade, single-engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter.

Helicopters from Japan: Japan had previously pledged to donate helicopters to boost the Philippine Army’s capabilities.

In 2022, AFP chief General Romeo Brawner Jr. said Japan will donate UH-1J Huey multirole helicopters to the Philippine Army “in the coming years.” Brawner later said in February 2023 that the Japanese government is eyeing the donation of retired helicopters. While he did not specify the type and number of helicopters, Brawner said the aircraft would still be “usable” and “reliable” and would be used only for non-combat activities.

No new donations: As of writing, there are no reports of the Philippines receiving AH-1S helicopters donated by other countries. Rappler had debunked a similar claim that the Philippines acquired retired AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters from the US.  

Legitimate updates regarding military acquisitions made by the PAF can be found on its official website, Facebook page, and X (formerly Twitter) page. Katarina Ruflo/Rappler.com

Katarina Ruflo is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!