Philippines commissions training helicopters, to build up helicopter fleet


The Philippine Army's two newly inducted R-44 Raven training helicotpers. Photo c/o Philippine Army.

The Philippine Army (PA) Army Aviation Regiment (AAR) inducted two newly received Robinson R-44 Raven light helicopters on 6 October 2020 in the unit’s base in Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija province.

The chief of the PA Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana led the induction rites, which would be used for training pilots bound for rotary wing aircraft operations.

The event also coincided with the graduation of 16 new Army aviatiors from the Rotary Wing Aircraft Training course, and the inauguration of the unit’s new administrative building.

The two R-44 Raven helicopters were said to have been donated to the PA, while the PA AAR is still in the process of building its helicopter fleet. Previously the unit was called the Army Aviation Battalion and only operated light fixed wing aircraft for observation and liaison duties.

The AAR is planning to bring in more helicopters in the future. Philippine defense page MaxDefense Philippines confirmed that the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) and has been in discussion with the US Department of Defense for the transfer of a few surplus Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk combat utility helicopters, Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters, and Beechcraft King Air fixed wing utility aircraft.

It also negotiating with the South Korean Ministry of Defense for the transfer of surplus McDonnell Douglas MD500 Defender armed scout helicopters.

MaxDefense Philippines also confirmed that the AAR is interested in acquiring new S-70i Black Hawk combat utility and air ambulance helicopters, and has also discussed with Boeing and MD Helicopters on offers for light attack helicopters with the AH-6i and MD-530, respectively.

Plans are also underway for additional R-44 Raven training helicopters.

[1] Philippine Army
[2] MaxDefense Philippines
[3] Asia Pacific Defense Journal

Philippines commissions training helicopters, to build up helicopter fleet Philippines commissions training helicopters, to build up helicopter fleet Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on October 08, 2020 Rating: 5

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