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Philippine Air Force to reactivate seven ‘Huey’ helicopters

14 October 2019
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The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is looking to return to service seven of its ageing Bell UH-1 'Huey' utility helicopters by using spare parts donated by Japan earlier this year.

In a statement carried by the official Philippine News Agency (PNA) on 8 October, PAF spokesperson Major Aristides Galang said that an inspection team found several items among the donated parts needed for restoring the helicopters to operational status.

The PAF is seeking to reactivate seven of its ageing Bell UH-1 'Huey' helicopters by using spare parts donated by Japan. (PAF)The PAF is seeking to reactivate seven of its ageing Bell UH-1 'Huey' helicopters by using spare parts donated by Japan. (PAF)

Among the inspected spare parts were main rotor blades, tail rotor blades, and tail rotor driveshaft, said Maj Galang, adding that restoration work for the seven helicopters, all of which are operated by the PAF's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, is ongoing.

The UH-1 spare parts were handed over to the PAF in March 19 at Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga Province.

Meanwhile, the PNA revealed on 10 October that all six Embraer EMB 314 A-29 Super Tucano light attack turboprop aircraft ordered by the PAF in 2017 for about USD99 million are expected to be delivered by February 2020.

"All 'Super Tucano' units will be delivered by first quarter [of 2020] or by February," Department of National Defense spokesperson Arsenio Andolong was quoted by the media outlet as saying.

Once delivery of the aircraft is completed, the Super Tucanos are expected to be turned over to and maintained by the PAF's 15th Strike Wing.

Jane's reported in July 2018 that the Philippines was to bolster its airborne counterinsurgency (COIN) capabilities with the receipt of four surplus OV-10 Broncos from the United States, and potentially two BT-67 gunships that are being offered by Basler Turbo Conversions.

The USAF did not respond to a Jane's request for information at the time of the transfer of the four surplus aircraft, but regional sources identified the PAF as the customer to Defense News.

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