Five more helicopters up for purchase
President Duterte emphasizes need for more military assets
CLARK AIR BASE, Pampanga – President Rodrigo Duterte said there is a need to augment the existing assets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly the Philippine Air Force as he called for the replacement of the UH-1H, popularly known as Huey helicopters.
In his remarks during his inspection of the recently acquired air assets of the Philippine Air Force, he said he can partially augment the 32 helicopters needed by providing an additional five units until his term ends in June 30,2022.
“I can provide for five Black Hawk helicopters,” he said as he added the succeeding administrations will have to provide for the AFP’s needs.
He said he cannot “be brave in the mouth against China because we are avoiding any confrontation that would lead to something that we can hardly afford, at least, at this time.”
He also recalled his phone conversation with then U.S. President Donald Trump where he was asked of what his requirements were. He said he informed the US president of the AFP’s needs but failed to deliver on its commitments.
Among the recently acquired air assets inspected by President Duterte were a C-130 Hercules, six S70i Blackhawk Utility helicopters, six units of A-29B – Super Tuscanos, six units of Hermes 900 unmanned aerial vehicles and four units of Hermes 450 unmanned aerial vehicles.
Among the guests were former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, AFP Chief of Staff General Cirilito Sobejana and other high-ranking officials. (Melo M. Acuña)
President Rodrigo Duterte. (Screen grab from RTVM/PTV4/Melo M. Acuna)