Philippine air chief says Italy will provide attack helicopters
By Michael Cohen and JDW Correspondent James Hardy
Italy is in pole position to provide Manila with 10 attack helicopters, Philippine Air Force (PAF) chief Lieutenant General Lauro Catalino Dela Cruz has said.
Gen Dela Cruz visited Italy on his way back from the UK's Farnborough Airshow to look at some of the weaponry. "Hopefully we will have them by the end of the year," he said in a statement.
While not identifying the specific model, Gen Dela Cruz could be referring to the AW129 Mangusta, which AgustaWestland now markets overseas as the T129 after signing a co-production deal with Turkey's Aselsan and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Other options include the AW119 Ke (Koala enhanced): a single-engined utility helicopter that can be armed with rocket launchers; a twin 7.62 mm machine gun pod; 12.7 machine gun pod; anti-tank missiles and air-to-air missiles, and the attack version of the PZL Swidnik W-3 Sokol. AgustaWestland acquired the Polish company in January 2010.
AgustaWestland did not respond to a request for comment.161 of 461 words
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