DND optimistic with delivery of combat vehicles, attack helicopters from Turkey

Published October 11, 2021, 5:07 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking forward to the completion of the procurement of amphibious armored combat vehicles and attack helicopters from Turkey to boost the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

(Photo courtesy of Department of National Defense)

DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana raised the status of the procurement of the national government to Turkey during a phone conversation with Turkish Minister of National Defence Hulusi Akar on Monday, Oct. 11 — marking the first bilateral meeting between the two defense ministers.

“The SND [Secretary of National Defense] looked forward to the completion of the projects and expressed appreciation for Turkey’s continued interest to support the Philippine defense department’s ongoing modernization efforts,” said DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong.

During the phone call, Lorenzana discussed the updates in the Philippines and Turkey’s defense industry cooperation including the ongoing procurement of amphibious armored combat earthmover (AACE) vehicles from Turkish combat vehicles supplier FNSS, and attack helicopters from Turkish state-owned defense contractor ASFAT.

More details on the modernization projects are expected to be revealed by the DND in the coming months.

The two defense ministers also talked about the outcomes of the most recent visits of former AFP Chief of Staff (Ret.) Gen. Cirilito Sobejana and former Philippine Navy Flag Officer in Command (Ret.) Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo to Turkey in April this year.

According to the DND, the official visits of two former senior AFP officials served as “opportunities to explore prospects to deepen and further military-to-military cooperation” between Manila and Ankara.

“The two ministers hoped to further develop bilateral defense cooperation, to cover other areas of mutual interest, including but not limited to peacekeeping, through expertise, education, and training exchange, among other possible forms of cooperation,” Andolong noted.