The Philippine Navy (PN) formally commissioned into service its two armed AgustaWestland AW-109E “Power” helicopters in simple ceremonies at Naval Station Jose Andrada, on Roxas Boulevard, Manila Monday.
The helicopters are armed with .50 caliber machinegun pods and 2.75 inch rocket launchers.
Cmdr. Lued Lincuna, PN public affairs office chief, said that armed AW-109Es are also equipped with maritime air surveillance capability, amphibious air support operations and weather search radar and forward looking infrared systems that enhances the Navy’s maritime air surveillance and close air support for ground troops.
The 8 a.m. commissioning ceremonies were spearheaded by outgoing PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Jesus C. Millan.
The last two AW-109E airframes arrived in the Philippines last December.
This is part of the five-helicopter deal, worth Php1.33-billion, signed by the Philippines with AgustaWestland early 2013.
Three of the AW-109s were delivered and commissioned in Dec. 22, 2013.