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Air Force's Most Advanced Helicopters deployed in Baguio

The Philippine Air Force deployed some of their rotary aircraft at the Loakan Airport in Baguio City, including the TAI T-129 ATAK helicopter.

 |  3 min read

The Philippine Air Force deployed some of their rotary aircraft at the Loakan Airport in Baguio City, including the TAI T-129 ATAK helicopter.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) deployed some of their rotary aircraft at the Loakan Airport (RPUB) in Baguio City for a static exhibit to enable Philippine Military Academy cadets and residents to personally witness and do some walk around on the helicopters.

Philippine Air Force rotary aircraft at the Loakan Airport (RPUB) in Baguio City.

Sikorsky S-70i Blackhawk

The 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing displayed their Sikorsky S-70i Blackhawk twin-engine medium-lift combat utility helicopter. The S-70i Black Hawk is known for its quick deployment and reconfiguration capabilities that allow it to execute missions seamlessly.

S-70i Black Hawk helicopter is the latest in the family of Black Hawk multi-mission aircraft. The helicopter is built by Poland-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary PZL Mielec and is being offered to international military customers and government agencies.

The Philippines' Department of National Defense (DND) inked a $241.4m contract with PZL Mielec in June 2019 to purchase 16 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The first tranche of six Black Hawks was delivered to the Philippines in December 2020. The PAF took the delivery of five more S-70i Black Hawk helicopters at the Clark Air Base in June 2021.

The Philippine government ordered the grounding of its Black Hawk fleet after a crash involving an S-70i Black Hawk during a training exercise the same month. The crash killed at least six people.

TAI/AgustaWestland T-129 ATAK

The 15th Strike Wing displayed their two (2) TAI/AgustaWestland T-129 ATAK twin-engine, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopters. The TAI T129 ATAK helicopter is described as the most effective attack helicopter in its class worldwide, with 95 percent of parts for serial production made in Turkey.

The newly acquired TAI/AgustaWestland T-129 ATAK chopper at Loakan Airport in Baguio City.

The two T-129 ATAK choppers were the first batch of the six units procured by the Department of National Defense and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from Turkish Aerospace Industries. The choppers arrived earlier this year at the Clark Air Base in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

According to PAF spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Mariano, the choppers amounting to P13,727,248,240 (around $263 million), were procured under the AFP modernization program-Horizon 2.

The helicopter is a next-generation, tandem, and two-seat, twin-engine helicopter geared for multiple roles, including attack, reconnaissance, fire support, air defense suppression, precision, and deep strikes, armed escort, and urban warfare.

Sikorsky S-76 Air Ambulance

The 505th Search and Rescue Group displayed their Sikorsky S-76 Air Ambulance twin-engine helicopter. Sikorsky S-76 is a multi-role, medium-size utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft.

Operations carried out by the S-76 include executive passenger transport (VIP), emergency medical services (EMS), search-and-rescue operations (SAR), and offshore passenger and material transportation. The S-76 can accommodate 14 people including two pilots. It has retractable landing gear.

The cadets of the Philippine Military Academy and some locals were impressed with the ATAK T-129 attack helicopters after their walk around. Some of the PMA cadets who made the sneak peek on the said helicopters will be joining the Philippine Air Force.

Source: Pinoy Aviators

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