The Philippine Air Force on August 17 accepted the last of eight twin-engine Bell 412EP combat utility helicopters it ordered last year from Canada. The service also accepted two AgustaWestland AW-109E armed helicopters during a ceremony at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, south of Manila.
The Philippine Department of National Defense ordered the Bell helicopters from the government-owned Canadian Commercial Corporation, which facilitates trade on behalf of Canadian industry. In June, Bell began staged deliveries of the medium-lift helicopter, which is powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3D Twin-Pac engines.
Under a 2013 contract, AgustaWestland is supplying eight AW-109E Power helicopters armed with .50 caliber machine guns and unguided rockets to the Philippines Air Force and Navy for close air support and surveillance.
Philippines defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Canadian ambassador Neil Reeder and US ambassador Philip Goldberg were among those attending the delivery ceremony at the air base, which is collocated with Ninoy Aquino International Airport and serves as the headquarters of the Philippine Air Force.
“We are proud to deliver the final of eight Bell 412EP aircraft today—three months ahead of schedule—and, as promised, in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in November,” Sameer A. Rehman, Bell Helicopter Asia Pacific managing director, stated in a release.