The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has announced that it will receive its first-ever T129 tactical reconnaissance and attack helicopter from Turkish Aerospace Industries next month.
According to PAF commander Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes, the country has ordered a total of six Turkish attack helicopters to support its soldiers during military operations. They will be delivered gradually starting this December.
Paredes did not provide further details about the arrival of the aircraft. However, it was earlier revealed that the T129 will be used by the 15th Strike Wing, which is responsible for surface strike missions.
The Philippine government awarded a contract to Turkish Aerospace Industries to supply six attack helicopters for a total value of 12.9 billion Philippine pesos ($269 million). PAF initially announced that the first batch would be delivered in September.
The southeast Asian nation will reportedly be the first country outside Turkey to use the T129.
— TURKISH MOD TEAM (@turkishmodteam) August 22, 2021
The T129 Attack Helicopter
Based on the AW129 attack helicopter, the T129 is a twin-engine, multi-role helicopter designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments.
The aircraft features a laser rangefinder, a helmet-mounted display system for night vision, and an emergency locator transmitter, allowing it to operate at night.
Additionally, the T129 has a payload capacity of 1,200 kilograms (2,645 pounds), allowing it to carry heavy and high-powered weapons such as anti-tank guided missiles, air-to-air missiles, rockets, and a 20mm turreted three-barrel gun system.
More Military Helicopters Arriving
In October, the PAF welcomed five Brazilian turboprop A29B Super Tucano light attack aircraft at Danilo Atienza Airbase. The first of two AH-1s Cobra helicopters donated by the Jordanian government also arrived at the Cavite Airbase.
PAF 15th Strike Wing commander Brig. Gen. Aristotle Gonzalez said that the arrival of new military aircraft to the Philippines would bring the surface strike unit closer to full operational capability.
“Despite having a smaller number of operational aircraft this past year, we worked through day and night, weekdays and weekends, to make our aircraft full mission capable,” Gonzalez told Inquirer.net.