Philippine Navy may soon have the AgustaWestland AW159 ‘Wildcat’ in its arsenal. Department of National Defense Bids and Awards Committee is now on the second stage of bidding for two anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter with the British-Italian helicopter maker AgustaWestland as the only eligible bidder.
AW159 or Wildcat is among the top rated anti-submarine warfare helicopters. Wildcat was specifically designed for United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence. Its navy variant is yet to enter the Royal Navy next year to eventually replace all Lynx of British Armed Forces.
Moreover, South Korea is also set to receive eight navy variant of AW159 from 2015 to 2016. AgustaWestland won the bidding last January 2013. When delivered, Wildcats will carry out search-and-rescue, anti-submarine warfare and surveillance missions for South Korea.
Wildcat, an improved version of Super Lynx, is an advanced multi-role, maritime and utility helicopter. It is designed to be housed in a frigate, offshore patrol vessel or corvette.
Its intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities are significantly upgraded.
According to a defense market analyst firm, AW159’s SELEX Galileo Seaspray 7000E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, sonar system, electro-optical device, ESM and countermeasure systems make it one of the best ASW helicopter in the world.