MANILAThe Philippine Navy's (PN) first anti-submarine helicopter, the AgustaWestland AW-159 "Wildcat", is expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2019.
This was disclosed by Navy spokesperson, Commander Jonathan Zata, in a message to the Philippine News Agency when asked on the status of the said defense project.
"Accordingly, it will arrive within the first quarter of next year. Manufacturers trials are still being done (as of this time)," he added.
Earlier, Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said that initial flight-testing is now ongoing for the two Philippine-ordered AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters.
These aircraft were acquired for PHP5.4 billion including its munition, mission essential equipment and integrated logistic support.
"As confirmed by the Commander Naval Air Group. The (first) AW-159 have just started initial test flight as part of the manufacturer's trial. It is still scheduled for a series of test flights before scheduling its handover to the Philippines. According as well to CNAG, the flight signals the completion of the first unit," Andolong earlier said.
The AW-159 (previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat) is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter.
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 (fours hours and 30 minutes if fitted with auxiliary fuel).
The AW-159 can also be armed with rockets, machine guns, missiles, torpedoes and depth charges. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency