Just a few days ago, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana featured on his official Facebook page the new Black Hawk helicopters acquired by the Philippines from Polish manufacturer PZL Mielec, a subsidiary of US arms company Lockheed Martin.
According to Lorenzana, the addition of these new choppers has greatly improved the ‘operational readiness’ of the Philippine Air Force (PAF). Apart from this, the aircraft also boosted the agency’s combat and non-combat potential in missions.
However, what people might not know is that the country also received high-end helicopters in 2019. The choppers, which came in the form of two Bell AH-1S “Cobra,” were delivered at the Clark Airbase in Pampanga and were then included in the inventory of both the PAF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
If you’re interested in learning more about these ‘Cobra’ helicopters, just scroll through the list below.
It’s a gift from the Kingdom of Jordan.
The Cobra helicopters came as gifts from the Jordanian Government. The deal was finalized after President Rodrigo Duterte visited Jordan in 2018, wherein he discussed the possibility of military collaborations with the Arab country.
It’s a symbol of stronger defense cooperation.
Duterte’s visit to Jordan proved fruitful as the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation not long after his visit – along with other bilateral agreements.
It’ll boost the PAF’s and AFP’s capabilities.
According to the PAF and AFP, the addition of these new attack helicopters will greatly enhance their prowess when it comes to air-related missions – specifically when it comes to long-range travel and patrol.
It will improve counter-terrorism operations and internal security.
By now, you must be aware that fighting terrorism and insurgency is a key mission of the Duterte administration, especially after the 2016 Davao city bombing and 2017’s Marawi Siege. In that sense, the inclusion of the Bell AH-1S into the Philippines’ inventory will greatly help the cause.
Apart from improving their mobility, the AFP and PAF will benefit from the addition of Cobra choppers through the strengthening of internal security and counter-terrorism operations.
More units are set to arrive.
As part of AFP’s modernization under the Duterte Government, new units of military helicopters have been ordered from manufacturers abroad.
This coming September, the first 2 units of T-129 attack helicopters ordered by the Philippines from Turkey will arrive. A total of six units was procured by the government under a $269.4 million deal.
Here’s a look at the Cobra helicopters in action:
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Image Credit: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images