The Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday confirmed that two of the six Turkish-made T129 “ATAK” attack helicopters will be delivered sometime this December.
“The first two units of the T129 ‘ATAK’ are expected to be delivered later this month. A DND team is leaving for Turkey for pre-delivery inspection,” DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a message to the Philippine News Agency.
He said the DND team is expected to leave the country by the middle of next week.
No other details were immediately available.
The six T129 attack helicopters were acquired for a total contract price of USD269,388,862 (about PHP12.9 billion) from the Turkish Aerospace Industries through a government-to-government mode of procurement under the Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The T129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform and is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract for the acquisition of the Turkish attack helicopters in July last year.
The Philippine Air Force is looking to acquire dedicated but affordable attack helicopters to beef up its fleet of lightly-armed helicopters, such as the MG-520 and AW-109E, which are being used for counter-terror and ground support missions.
Source: Philippines News Agency