The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has welcomed a new member to its air fleet, the Jordan-donated Bell AH-1S ‘Cobra’ attack helicopter. 

The chopper, which is one of two to be delivered in the country, arrived at Major Danilo Atienza Air Base (MDAAB) in Sangley Point, Cavite on November 18 (Thursday). 

Photo from 15th Strike Wing’s Official Facebook Page

The aircraft was transferred from Clark Air Base and was piloted by Major Reese James Obeso, squadron commander of the 20th Attack Squadron, and Capt. Wilmore Kristus Tanamor.

It received the traditional Water Cannon Salute and underwent a blessing ceremony afterward. 

According to 15th Strike Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Aristotle Gonzalez, the new Bell AH-1S helicopter, which is recognized as one of the most powerful attack helicopters in the world, will be used to support the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP). 

Photo from 15th Strike Wing’s Official Facebook Page

“This platform will complement the MD-520MG [McDonnel Douglas Defender attack helicopters] of the 20th Attack Squadron and hopefully, be successfully employed and deliver support to other AFP units,” said Gonzalez.

The Cobra helicopters were promised to the Philippines by the Jordanian government in 2018. It was the same year that the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation.

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Image credit: 15th Strike Wing’s Official Facebook Page