Philippine Navy receives three AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopters
The Philippine Navy has received three of five AgustaWestland AW109 Power helicopters from Italy at Villamor Airbase, Pasay City in the Philippines.
The Philippine Star cited Philippine Fleet spokesman lieutenant junior grade Rommel Rodriguez as saying that three AW-109 Power helicopters will undergo testing in Cavite.
Earlier this year, Philippine Navy pilots and air crewmen underwent six-month training at Cesto Calende in Italy and are on their way to Sangley.
The first three AW-109 helicopters is scheduled to be commissioned by the Philippine Armed Forces on 21 December, while the remaining two aircraft, the armed version, are due to be delivered in the first quarter of 2014.
The helicopters, worth PHP1.33bn ($30m), will be under the control and supervision of the Naval Air Group and will be operating from the Philippine Navy's BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) vessels.
Capable of accommodating two helicopters each, both vessels were acquired by the Philippine Navy from the US.
In November, AgustaWestland was awarded a contract for the supply of AW109 Power lightweight, multi-purpose helicopters to the Philippine Air Force (PAF).
Equipped with a dedicated mission package and equipment, including a combination of weapon systems, the PAF's AW109 Power helicopters are scheduled to be used for homeland security, armed reconnaissance and close air support (CAS) missions.
Powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada 206C or Turbomeca Arrius 2K1 turboshaft engines, the AW109 Power is an eight-seat multi-purpose helicopter designed for light transport, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), and search-and-rescue (SAR) missions.
Image: An AW109 Power multi-purpose helicopter during its flight. Photo: © 2012 AgustaWestland - A Finmeccanica company.