DND reboots procurement for combat helicopters

MANILA Following the cancellation of the PHP12-billion Bell 212EPI helicopter contract with Canadian Commercial Corp. (CCC), the Department of National Defense (DND) has rebooted the procurement process for its combat utility helicopters (CUHs) requirement.

"The project has been cancelled and CCC received the notification regarding the cancellation. We will reboot the procurement of the CUHs and we are currently studying other possible sources of the units," DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said they are checking out helicopter suppliers from South Korea, Russia, China, Turkey and other nations for medium lift helicopters in lieu of the Bell 412.

The PHP12-billion contract is supposedly for CCC to deliver 12 units of Bell 412EPI helicopters by 2019 up to 2020.

The cancellation of the contract comes after the Canadian government ordered the review of the deal between the DND and CCC after receiving reports that the Philippines is planning to use the helicopters against rebel forces.

"While the combat utility helicopters being purchased are primarily for the purpose of transporting personnel and supplies, the Department believes that it does not owe the Canadian government any justification for an outright purchase of equipment from a privately-owned company," Andolong earlier said.

He also stressed that the DND will continue to pursue the modernization program, and will look into the procurement of combat utility helicopters from other countries in lieu of the Bell 412.

Source: Philippine News Agency

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