Media practitioners covering the Defense beat will be given a chance to see firsthand and fly with one of the controversial UH-ID combat utility helicopters Tuesday, July 14 morning. Seven UH-IDs and two UH-IHs helicopters will be in front of the Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand, Quezon City for the activity.
“It’s an initiative of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to demonstrate that the recently accepted refurbished UH-1(D) helicopters are all air worthy and mission capable,” said Defense public affair office chief Arsenio Andolong.
The acquisition for the 21 UH-IDs, which is worth Php1.26 billion, have been wracked in controversy after claims of bidding irregularities and the aircraft being defective.
It was partially terminated last March 25 after suppliers Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copters Ltd. failed to deliver the rest of the aircraft.
“In compliance with with Section 88, Rule XXII of the IRR of RA 9184 (Philippine Procurement Law), the contract agreement between the DND/AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) and the Joint Venture of Rice Aircraft Services, Inc. and Eagle Copters Ltd. for the supply and delivery of 21 UH-I helicopters for the PAF with corresponding contract price of Php1,263,000,000 shall be partially terminated for exceeding the ten percent maximum liquidated damages,” the DND order signed by Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.
Selected media personnel will be flown over in Metro Manila and return to Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon where a press conference will be held on the acquisition process, acceptance process and technical specifications.