MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is escalating efforts on social media to win public support for its acquisition of recent fight utility helicopters.
The PAF got here up with social media playing cards and explainer video over the weekend, highlighting the significance of getting multi-role helicopters for the nation.
PHILIPPINE AIR FORCE UTILITY HELICOPTERPANOORIN: Ang istorya ng mga Huey Helicopter sa ating Hukbong Himpapawid at ang importansya ng mga tungkuling ginampanan nito sa pagtugon sa mga pangangailangan ng ating bansa at ng ating mga kababayan.#TaketheLeadSoarAsOne#AFPModernizationProject#OneDefenseTeamPHDISCLAIMER: Video clips used within the manufacturing of this video belong to the rightful homeowners. No copyright infringement supposed.
Posted by Philippine Air Force on Sunday, February 7, 2021
“Because the Philippines is an archipelago with at least 7,461 islands, we need aircraft like helicopters to deliver aid to those in need quicker,” mentioned one PAF submit in Filipino.
Ang mga helicopters na ito ang magsisilbing kaagapay ng AFP sa malawakang pagsasagawa ng aming misyon gaya ng search and…
The helicopters can also be used to struggle fires, for search and rescue missions, restricted shut air support, medical evacuation, catastrophe response and different humanitarian campaigns.
“It is time to buy new helicopters to better meet the needs of our countrymen during disasters brought by calamities,” the PAF mentioned.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s current approval of the acquisition of further Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters drew criticisms from progressive group Alliance of Concerned Teachers, saying it was one of many authorities’s “grave funding mispriorities.”
“Why is the government squandering the people’s money on senseless wars when our biggest adversary today is the crisis that wreaks havoc on all aspects of our national life?” the ACT mentioned.
Malacanang earlier mentioned the acquisition would “slowly address the growing heli-lift deficiency” of the armed forces and would pave the best way for the decommissioning of Vietnam War-era Huey helicopters, the PAF’s workhorse.
The iconic Huey helicopters have a median age of 40 years previous. It’s not clear what number of UH-1, UH-1D and Bell 205 helicopters are within the PAF’s stock.
Duterte’s resolution to accumulate new helicopters got here following a sequence of accidents involving Hueys since 2020, killing not less than 12 individuals in separate circumstances. The most up-to-date occurred in Bukidnon in January and led to the deaths of all seven individuals onboard.
Last December, the PAF commissioned the primary 6 of 16 Black Hawk helicopters, marking the beginning of transition from the PAF’s quickly getting old Hueys, which has been flying for a long time. The remainder of the Black Hawk choppers ordered from Poland’s PZL Mielec, are anticipated to be delivered inside 2021. The 16 choppers value round P12 billion.
While Duterte permitted the acquisition of 15 Black Hawk helicopters in keeping with Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles at a press briefing final week, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana mentioned 32 Black Hawk helicopters have been truly permitted.
“From our meeting, I understood, as do other Cabinet secretaries, that 32 were approved,” he mentioned.
“We are aiming for 32 more Black Hawks that would replace all our existing helicopters including the Hueys. These will cost P32 billion or a billion pesos apiece,” he added.
Lorenzana mentioned “the yearly payment can be easily covered by the AFP modernization fund and the funds from the BCDA.”
“Upon contract signing 15 percent of the total cost will be paid or P4.8 billion. Succeeding payments will be upon delivery which will extend up to 3 to 5 years,” he mentioned.
The protection secretary mentioned the army intends to accumulate 32 more as a result of “the total will bring our inventory helicopters to 48 which is sufficient to fill in the AFP needs for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, supply and personnel transport.”
Lorenzana mentioned different causes Black Hawks have been most well-liked have been simple upkeep of procurement of components, most use of upkeep crew and the Black Hawk’s larger elevate capability.
It’s not clear when the acquisition course of will formally start however Lorenzana mentioned he hoped to signal a contract “within the year.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get entry to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & different 70+ titles, share as much as 5 devices, take heed to the information, obtain as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.