Two brand new Bell helicopters and one landing craft utility have been delivered to the military, a development seen to enhance the armed forces’ transport capabilities.The Bell 412EP combat helicopters acquired from Canada arrived last week while the landing craft utility from South Korea was delivered last May.
The two helicopters were displayed during the celebration of the Air Force’s 68th anniversary here.“They can be used for disaster response and for the airlifting of troops and cargoes,” Air Force spokesman Col. Enrico Canaya said in an interview on Wednesday.The helicopters have not been formally accepted by the Air Force because it still has to undergo tests and inspections.
“We will check if they (supplier) complied with the technical specifications. We will also conduct test flights. If the requirements are satisfied, we will accept the helicopters,” Canaya said.
The Philippines and Canada signed a contract for eight Bell 412EP combat helicopters worth P4.8 billion on March 28, 2014.The helicopters were acquired through state-run Canadian Commercial Corp. The air assets can conduct assault support and close air support operations and can accommodate 15 people including the pilot.The delivery of the eight helicopters will be completed in 2017.