Air Force to commission 10 brandnew choppers on Monday: 2 armed

Rotary-winged assets of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) will get another much-needed boost with the turnover and blessing of eight Bell-412EP and two attack versions of AgustaWestland AW-109Es on Monday. The ceremonies will be held at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, PAF spokesperson Col. Enrico Canaya said.

He added that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin will be the guest-of-honor and speaker for the occasion, the Philippine News Agency reports.

The Department of National Defense signed in March 2014 a PhP 4.8-billion contract with the Canadian government for the delivery of eight Bell 412EP helicopters. Order for eight attack AW-109Es worth PhP 3.44 billion was signed in June 2013.

The 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.

Earlier this week, the Navy formally commissioned its two armed AW-109Es.