Three more helicopters have been delivered to the Philippine National Police (PNP) as part of its modernization program to improve operational capability.
The arrival of three H-125 Airbus single engine turbine helicopters brought to 10 the total number of air assets of the PNP as four other H-125s, two Robinsons 44 trainer choppers, and one unit of C150 trainer fixed wing have been delivered in the past two years.
The supposed 11th air asset of the PNP is no longer usable as it crashed in Laguna last year. The crash resulted in the death of a police general who battled the serious injuries he incurred for seven months. At least six others were injured, including then PNP chief Archie Gamboa.
Sinas said the PNP accepted delivery of three brand new H-125 Airbus on Friday at the Manila Domestic Airport in Pasay City from the Airbus Helicopters Southeast Asia PTE LTD.
“These new air assets will further boost our operational capability in support of the anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism campaign,” said Sinas.
The new police helicopters, with registry numbers RP-2420, RP-6088, and RP-9710, are now at the PNP-Special Action Force Air Unit hangar at the Manila Domestic Airport. Currently, all PNP air assets are stationed in Metro Manila.
But Sinas said the PNP is eyeing the deployment of two helicopters each in Central Visayas and Southern Mindanao, and one in Northern Luzon.
With the procurement of helicopters, the PNP also revived the pilot training course for members of the Special Action Force, the unit where the PNP air assets would be entrusted.
The PNP has so far produced a total of 11 pilots, with 14 others currently undergoing training.