MANILA The Philippine Navy (PN) on Tuesday announced that it will acquire an anti-submarine helicopter to boost up its naval air group.
This is aside from the three AgustaWestland "Power" 109 helicopters that will be arriving in 2014.
"This is under the Medium Term Capability Development Program (MTCDP 2013-2017)," PN spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic said.
The PN air group is based at Sangley Point, Cavite. It operates around 12 to 14 helicopters and light aircraft.
He added that the acquisition of the anti-submarine helicopter is part of the PN's efforts to build its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability.
ASW refers to the capability to detect, locate and if necessary destroy submarines found intruding in the country's territorial waters.
He added that this program will be an important part of the Philippines' defense system once it reaches full bloom.
The PN earlier called the signing of the contract with AgustaWestland, regarding the delivery of three AW-109 "Power" helicopters by 2014, a "significant milestone".
"The PN finds it to be a significant development in line with the (ongoing) modernization program and capability upgrade," it stated.
The AW-109 "Power" helicopters will enhance the PN's capability in various naval operations such as maritime security patrols and search-and-rescue among others.
"These helicopters are just a few among the list of future acquisition for the PN in order to attain its vision of becoming a strong and credible Navy that our maritime nation can be proud of," Fabic emphasized. (PNA)