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Turkish-made attack helis expected to arrive in September — DND



In this file photo, a TAI T129 Atak helicopter is pictured during an air display on the second day of the Farnborough International Air show in Hampshire, England, on July 15, 2014. (AFP)

The Philippines is expected to receive in September the first two of six attack helicopters ordered from Turkey, the Department of National Defense said.

Arsenio Andolong, DND spokesperson, said two more units of the T-129 “ATAK” helicopters are expected to be delivered in February 2022 and the last two, in February 2023.

The six helicopters are being acquired with a total contract price of US$ 269,388,862 from Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) under a government-to-government mode of procurement.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract to acquire the T-129s for the Air Force in July 2020, Andolong said.

The helicopters were chosen for internal security operations, particularly close air support, he added.

This will make the T-129s an addition to the MD-520 “Defender,” AH-1 “Cobra,” and AW-109 “Power” attack helicopters also set for that purpose by the PAF.

The T-129 is considered as a derivative of the Italian-made AW-129 attack helicopter which, in turn, has an airframe based on the AW-109.

Modifications were made and installed by TAI and AugustaWestland (now Leonardo) to allow the helicopter conduct missions in “hot and high” environments and rough geography, day or night.