What’s Next for the Philippines’ New Anti-Submarine Helicopters?

A closer glimpse at what lies forward for a noteworthy enhance for Manila’s capabilities.

Previously this thirty day period, the Philippines received the to start with of its anti-submarine warfare helicopters. The improvement spotlighted the development remaining built on a person of the notable areas of the Philippines’ wider army modernization that proceeds to be underway below President Rodrigo Duterte.

As I have famous just before in these pages, as Philippine army modernization proceeds less than Duterte, with a blend of continuity and change and amid a assortment of traits and developments, a person of the specials that observers have been viewing is the deal that the Philippines experienced inked with Leonardo for two AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters beneath the Anti-Submarine Helicopter Acquisition Venture. The offer was a sizeable one particular in that Manila has therefore significantly lacked an airborne anti-submarine warfare capability.

While the delivery of the helicopters was envisioned to arrive very last yr in line with the primary deal, Philippine officers had subsequently instructed that it would take place someday in Might 2019. A range of latest developments experienced indicated that this timeline would be satisfied, with a the latest just one staying the inspection carried out by a Philippine protection delegation led by navy main Robert Empedrad in the United Kingdom.

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Earlier this month, the highlight was yet again on this difficulty as the Philippines received the helicopters. The helicopters arrived in the Philippines on May possibly 7 right after getting sent by means of a chartered transportation plane that departed from London, and subsequent their arrival in Manila, they were being reportedly transported to Danilo Atienza Air Base in Cavite for reassembly, where they will be based as part of the Naval Aviation Squadron MH-40 Naval Air Team. In his feedback next the shipping and delivery on May perhaps 7, Empedrad characterised them as remaining a “great leap” for Philippine capabilities, with the means to detect and confront subsurface threats.

When the supply by itself has been accomplished, the helicopters are expected to be formally inducted into the Philippine navy in the coming months. The Philippine army experienced to begin with intended for the induction to manifest along with the commemoration of the 121st anniversary of the Philippine Navy, which is slated to arise on May perhaps 27.

Thereafter, observers will be on the lookout to see how the helicopters will be used by the Philippine navy. In responses to reporters subsequent the shipping and delivery, Empedrad mentioned that the AW-159s, which can be armed with a selection of weaponry, will at first be positioned on two of the 3 Del Pilar-course vessels of the PN. But they are also anticipated to be assigned with the two new frigates predicted to be sent from South Korea in subsequent a long time.

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