Navy, defense officials inspect anti-sub choppers in UK

By Philippine News Agency

MANILA -- The test and pre-delivery inspection of the Philippine Navy’s (PN) first two anti-submarine helicopters, the AgustaWestland AW-159 "Wildcat", is proceeding smoothly.

This was bared by Navy spokesperson, Captain Jonathan Zata in a message to the Philippine News Agency Friday.

He added PN flag-officer-in-command (FOIC), Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, is in the United Kingdom along with the Department of National Defense (DND) test and inspection team checking the aircraft.

"Our FOIC, PN is currently in the UK together with the DND’s test and inspection team purposely to the pre-delivery inspection of the two AW-159 helicopters. The FOIC, PN was flown on both the AW-159 were its stability, maneuverability and related parameters were determined," Zata said.

"He (Empedrad) expressed his satisfaction over the progress of the project which is noted to be ahead of its scheduled delivery," he added.

The PN spokesperson said the AW-159s will be shipped and will be expected in Manila by the first week of May.

And it will be included as one of the highlights to the 121st PN anniversary celebration on the last week of May, he added.

The aircraft were acquired for PHP5.4 billion along with weapons and other systems.