During the 69th founding anniversary celebration of the Philippine Air Force last July 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to procure more helicopters with night vision capabilities. “We will acquire more helicopters and night vision capability. ‘Yan ang nagha-hamper e. If I have that then we can improve our performance,” President Duterte said during the celebration.
This vow from the President is now on progress, as per MaxDefense Philippines’ report. “Based on information gathered from MaxDefense sources, the Philippine Air Force is expected to proceed the process of procuring 30 helicopters this year,” MaxDefense said in a post today on its Facebook page.
MaxDefense sees that these helicopters will be proportioned into AgustaWestland AW-109 (Power) armed helicopters and Bell 412EP combat utility helicopters (CUH).
President Duterte previously said that AFP modernization will continue.
“There will even be no refocusing of modernization thrust, we will only adjust our priorities,” the President said during his first visit to 6th Infantry Division headquarters in Camp Siongco, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. “For the time being, we will be attending to the more pressing needs of our soldiers now engaged in focused military operation in Basilan, Sulu, Central Mindanao, and other areas in southern Philippines.”
“The procurements will be more of force protection equipment (FPE) for our soldiers like helmets and vests, more night-fighting systems capability, additional fast crafts for our Navy, additional helicopters capable of night flight for the Navy and Air Force, and more communications equipment,” the President said.