The Philippine Air Force (PAF) eagerly awaits the delivery of the first batch of the six Turkish-made T129 “ATAK” attack helicopters expected this December.
PAF commander Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes has not given details of the T129 attack helicopters which will be acquired for a total contract price of US$269,388,862 or about PHP12.9 billion from the Turkish Aerospace Industries through a government-to-government mode of procurement under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The T129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform and is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the acquisition contract for the attack helicopters in July last year.
The PAF looks forward to acquiring dedicated but affordable attack helicopters to beef up its fleet of lightly-armed helicopters, such as the MG-520 and AW-109E, which are being used for counter-terror and ground support missions.