The Philippine Navy’s PhP5.4 billion “Anti-Submarine Warfare” (ASW) helicopter project is now undergoing post-qualification checks after the Department of National Defense (DND) announced that an Italian firm AgustaWestland was selected as the sole proponent of this ASW helicopter project.
In order to determine the capability of the manufacturer, the government is now conducting a background check whether AgustaWestland, which was selected by the DND as the possible supplier of two brand new AgustaWestland AW159 ‘Wildcat’ helicopter is capable of delivering the equipment on time and complying with the specifications requested for the “Anti-Submarine Warfare” (ASW) helicopter project.
AgustaWestland AW159 ‘Wildcat’ helicopter is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter designed to serve in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles. Its intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) capabilities are significantly upgraded and It can be housed in a frigate, offshore patrol vessel or corvette ships
Incorporated with SELEX Galileo Seaspray 7000E active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, sonar system, electro-optical device, ESM and countermeasure systems which make AW159 ‘Wildcat’ helicopter one of the best lethal ASW helicopters in the world. The defense analyst explained that based from a study, countries who acquired this type of helicopter are satisfied with the performance and capabilities.
The Aquino government green light approval for the seven military modernization projects, of which ASW helicopter project is one of this has given DND to go into a “multi-year contract” last November.
DND official explained that granting of the “multi-year contract” will permit to seek after the military modernization program beyond the Aquino’s term. - Carl E.