AW-109 “Power” helicopters, which are deployed on BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz, effectively enhanced maritime air patrol and surveillance capabilities of the Philippine Navy. These helicopters also boost capability of navy in disaster response operations.
Currently, there are three unarmed AW-109s commissioned last December 2013 for navy.
Additional two armed AW-109s were officially handed over to PN last December 29, 2014. Commissioning of these two armed helis is expected to be on January 16, 2015. These helis are armed with machine guns and 20mm cannons.
Navy Vice-commander Rear Admiral Caesar Taccad said that AW-109s will also become on-board components of soon to be delivered two Makassar-class landing platform dock (LPD) from Indonesia to act as navy’s strategic sea-lift vessels. Each SSV is designed to accommodate three helicopters.