CAMP AGUINALDO, PHILIPPINES - Finally! the Department of National Defense (DND) and Anglo-Italian manufacturer Agusta Westland formally closed the deal and signed the contract for the Philippine Navy’s first two anti-submarine AW159 Lynx Wildcat warfare helicopter worth P5.36 billion on Tuesday, 29th of March 2016.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Stefano Bortoli, Senior Vice President for Sales and Strategic Sourcing of AgustaWestland Limited, sign the P5.36-billion contract for the acquisition of two AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters for the Philippine Navy in a ceremony held on March 29 at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City. Department of National Defense/Released

After the signing of the Notice to Proceed, the delivery for the first helicopter will take place within 900 days.

Agusta Westland AW159 Lynx Wildcat -

Defense undersecretary for finance Fernando Manalo said, “This will definitely enhance the capability of the Philippine Navy, for the first time, we will have anti-submarine helicopters. This will be deployed onboard the two brand new frigates that we will buy.”

The AW159 (also called the Lynx Wildcat) is the successor of the improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military aircraft designed for battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare operations.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin

At the contract signing, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said in his speech . “After more than four decades of aspiring to improve its capability, our Navy has found optimism in this anticipated acquisition of a new state of the art equipment and weaponry to address the requirements of anti sub-surface naval operations.”

This submarine hunter is heavily modernized and adapted to gain new attributes and functionality, that is why the British government decided to replace the Royal Navy’s Westland Lynx helicopters wherein it was replaced by a more sophisticated AW159 Lynx Wildcat and the Republic of Korea also ordered 8 units for their Navy back in 2013.

2 - AW159 Agusta Westland Lynx Wildcat -

These two (2) AW-159 Lynx Wildcat will be armed with ASW and ASUW system, Torpedo’s and Torpedo launcher, Air to Surface Missiles, and Heavy Machine Guns and will be deployed to our Philippine Navy upcoming brand new frigates. - Jason E.