PBBM welcomes 2 new ATAK helicopters; vows acceleration of PAF modernization

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday gave assurance that his administration will fully support the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in fulfilling its vision to become world-class as he led the ceremonial blessing of two new T129 ATAK helicopters in Malacañang.

The President expressed hope that the modernization goal and PAF’s recent advancement will drive it to enhance its defense capabilities consistently, perform its duties effectively and protect the nation with vigor and pride.

Congratulating PAF for the acquisition of the new air assets, President Marcos expects that the recently acquired state-of-the-art helicopters will improve the Air Force’s operational readiness and responsiveness and empower it to fulfill its mandate to the country and the people.

The President also appreciated the contribution of the government of Turkiye and the Turkish Aerospace Industries for being reliable partners of the Philippine government in modernizing the country’s air force.

At the same time, President Marcos expressed gratitude to the PAF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for their invaluable contribution to the nation’s external defense, internal security operations, as well as disaster relief and response operations.

Last March, PAF received the two T129 along with unspecific logistics support equipment under a $269 million government-to-government contract with Turkiye that was signed in July 2020.

The Philippines has six helicopters on order under the multi-million dollar contract, which is part of the Horizon 2 phase of the AFP modernization program.

The T129 helicopters are manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries and are based on the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta design.

The new assets will complement a pair of refurbished Bell AH-1S HueyCobra attack helicopters from Jordan, along with armed light observation and transport helicopters in PAF’s inventory.

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