PASAY CITY, Aug. 17 (PIA) – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) welcomes the newest addition to its inventory of air assets in a turnover and blessing ceremony held at the Villamor Air Base, today. The new air assets include eight combat helicopters known as the Bell-412EP, which were acquired from Canada, and two attack AW-109E helicopters supplied by an Anglo-Italian company.
According to PAF spokesperson Col. Enrico Canaya, the new aircrafts are expected to advance the PAF’s materiel capability in providing security and transport services. “The helicopters will play different roles. The Bell combat helicopters can perform helicopter lift operations in different parts of the country and can be used for HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster response) in times of calamities,” Canaya said in an interview yesterday. “The AW109 helicopters can perform close air support and air reconnaissance,” he added.
The helicopters can perform assault support, close air support and are adaptable for any mission. Each unit can accommodate 14 passengers and one crew. After inspection, the air assets will be placed under the PAF’s 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing based in Cebu.