Air Force, Navy operate same type of choppers armed with Rocket Machine Gun Pods

The Philippine Air Force and Philippine Navy are set to have AgustaWestland AW-190E “Power” helicopters in service. The Navy formally commissioned its two armed AW-109Es last August 10 while the PAF’s armed AW-109Es are still undergoing technical inspection and assessment before being formally accepted into service, Philippine News Agency reports.

The advantage of having both services using the same aircraft, or in this case, attack helicopters, is the commonality in training and maintenance, Air Force spokesperson Colonel Enrico Canaya said.

“Having the two services operate the AW-109s means that we will just operate one type of aircraft which will greatly ease our maintenance, training and logistic procedures,” Col. Canaya said.

The Navy now has five commissioned AW-109Es, two of which are armed. The Air Force is set to have eight attack choppers of same variant.

These attack helicopters are armed with Rocket Machine Gun Pod system on both sides, comprising of 12.7mm (.50 caliber) machine gun, a NATO Standard 2.75inch/70mm 3-tube rocket launcher and a 400-round machine gun ammunition box.