The Philippine Air Force has received two units of T-129 ATAK helicopters from Turkey Wednesday to beef up its fleet of lightly-armed helicopters.
The PAF said the 2 choppers arrived at 12:30 a.m. at Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga.
According to Turkish Aerospace Industries, the T-129 is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform and is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions."
"We expect to be in commission maybe a month or two at the most depending on the pace of the acceptance test flights," PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano told reporters.
The 15th Strike Wing of the Philippine Air Force will operate the T-129 helicopters and will be utilized for Close Air Support to ground troops and armed surveillance and reconnaissance.
The Philippines acquired a total of 6 T-129 ATAK helicopters from Turkish Aerospace Industries for a total contract price of USD269,388,862 (about PHP12.9 billion), according to a Philippine News Agency report.