MANILA — The Philippine Navy’s (PN) first two anti-submarine helicopters, the AgustaWestland AW-159 “Wildcat”, are set to arrive in May.
“Anti-submarine helicopters are in the process of being acquired (and) additional info from the PN (said) they will arrive in May 2019,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) when sought for an update on the aircraft Thursday night.
These aircraft, upon integration, will provide the PN the capability to detect, monitor and if necessary, engage surface and sub-surface threats.
Earlier reports said the two ASW helicopters are undergoing flight-tests in the United Kingdom.
Acquisition contract for the helicopters is worth PHP5.4 billion, including their munition, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistic support.
The AW-159, previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat, is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter.
The helicopter has been ordered for the Royal Navy and British Army.
It is capable of speeds of 291 km. per hour, a range of 777 km., a ferry range of 963 km., and an endurance of one-and-a-half hours (four hours and 30 minutes if fitted with auxiliary fuel).
The AW-159 can also be armed with rockets, machine guns, missiles, torpedoes, and depth charges.