Category Archives: Helicopters

Surion Helicopter Problems up to July 2018

A menacing front view of a KUH-1 Surion helicopter of the Republice of Korea Army. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I decided to break this off from another blog about the KUH-1 Surion helicopter I was writing because I thought that it was getting too long and I was presenting too much information already to comfortably read in one sitting. With this blog, I will be discussing the problems that were publicly revealed about the aircraft up to the time of writing.

’Problems, Problems, Problems’1 2
The first of the number of problems that the Surion has encountered over the years were the Cracks that were found on the left side of the aircraft near the Vibration Absorption Devices and on the Windshields as first reported by the South Korean media in May 2016.
Continue reading Surion Helicopter Problems up to July 2018

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AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopters for the Philippine Air Force

An AH-1 Cobra Helicopter of the Jordanian Air Force. Photo courtesy of the United States Air Force (USAF).

During his speech at the 120th Anniversary of the Philippine Navy last May 22, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte said that he sent his National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to Jordan to facilitate the negotiations and the release of two AH-1 Cobra helicopters.1

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana later added in an interview that two Philippine Air Force Pilots were sent to Jordan and they reported that the helicopters for transfer were in “good condition”.
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The H145 for the Philippine Armed Forces?

An H145 Helicopter of the German State Police equipped with a Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) Sensor. Photo courtesy of the official Airbus Helicopters website.

A couple of months ago, the aircraft company Airbus Helicopters Philippines Inc. (AHPI) conducted a local media event at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to showcase the helicopters they were offering to our armed forces. AHPI said that they already briefed the Technical Working Groups (TWG) of the Department of National Defense (DND) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) about the aircraft.1

The company presented at least two aircraft, the H130 and the H145M. The H130 is a smaller and lighter aircraft designed more for the light transport role while the H145M is a bigger and heavier aircraft with a clear military role in mind, hence it would seem to be better suited for our armed forces.
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Hip or Hind Helicopters for the AFP?

An Mi-35 Hind Helicopter of the Czech Air Force. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
An Mi-35 Hind Helicopter of the Czech Air Force. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

In his speech during the 48th Anniversary of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing last September 2016, the new President Rodrigo Duterte dropped a bombshell and possible major shift in the policy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) when he revealed that he had received offers with generous financial terms from Russia to provide us with weapons and military equipment. He then said that he will be sending personnel from the Department of National Defense (DND) to go there and explore these options.[1]

A couple of weeks later, a supposed insider from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) revealed anonymously to “The Manila Standard” news publication that the government is reportedly considering the purchase of two to four Mi-17 or Mi-24 Helicopters from Russia for the price of between USD 12 to 17 million each.[2] This is a very interesting report because if it does push thru, it will be the first major military equipment buy by the Philippines from Russia.
Continue reading Hip or Hind Helicopters for the AFP?

ASW Helicopter Procurement for the Philippine Navy

An AW159 in flight. Photo courtesy of Cpl Kellie Williams, RLC/MOD thru Wikipedia Commons.
An AW159 in flight. Photo courtesy of Cpl Kellie Williams, RLC/MOD thru Wikipedia Commons.

The Department of National Defense (DND) recently announced the allocation of P5.4 Billion (USD 120 million using the Exchange Rate of USD 1 = P 45) for 2 brand-new Anti Submarine Warfare (ASW) Helicopters for the Philippine Navy (PhN), and they expect the acquisition process for these helicopters to be completed within the year.[1] The news item says that the 2 ASW Helicopters will be assigned to the Del Pilar-class ships, but I am not sure about the accuracy of this as we do have 2 brand-new Frigates which will be needing helicopter support also, hence it makes more sense to assign these units to those Frigates. It is possible that if the helicopters arrive first, they will initially be assigned to the Del Pilar-class ships, but will eventually be moved to the new Frigates once those arrive.

The budget of USD 60 million per helicopter came as a bit of a surprise for me mainly because first, I found it a bit high. At that budget, each helicopter will be almost twice the price of the FA-50 Fighting Eagle Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) we are getting which is valued at only USD 35 million each.[2] Second, it seems that while we are getting top-of-the-line ASW Helicopters, there doesn’t seem to be any effort to get any sonar equipment for the Del Pilar-class ships, while the sonar requirement for the 2 new Frigates are only generally/loosely defined or not very specific.[3]
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Comparing the Agusta Westland AW109E Power to the McDonnell Douglas MD520MG Defender

Malaysian Army Air Corps AW109LUH armed with rockets and cannons. Photo courtesy of the Malaysia Flying Herald website
Malaysian Army Air Corps AW109LUH armed with rockets and cannons. Photo courtesy of the Malaysia Flying Herald website

Agusta Westland formally announced the signing of the contract and delivery date of eight AW109E Power as the Philippine Air Force (PAF) next Light Attack Helicopter.1 I am now comparing these new helicopters with the current light attack helicopter in service with the PAF which is the MD520MG so people can see the difference and get a better appreciation about these new helicopters we are getting.

Some people might’ve been a disappointed as they were expecting that we would get something similar to the AH-64 Apache as our next attack helicopter, but obviously the AW109E is nothing like that. But it will still be a major improvement for our armed forces, by how much we will try to see.
Continue reading Comparing the Agusta Westland AW109E Power to the McDonnell Douglas MD520MG Defender