MANILA, (BM) – The Philippines is close to deciding whether to purchase 16 Mil Mi-171 helicopters from Russia to meet a longstanding Philippine Air Force requirement to acquire new medium-heavy category helicopters, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing AnalisiDifesa.
Arsenio Andolong, chief of public affairs at the Philippine Department of National Defense [DND], told Jane’s last month that the potential contract for the Mi-171s valued at around $ 265 million.
Andolong said that, contrary to media reports, the Philippine Defense has not yet formally approved the Russian helicopters’ purchase but indicated that the Government could make the final decision very soon. If the contract goes through, it will represent the Philippines’ first purchase of an essential Russian military platform.
According to the Jane’s – and as we had anticipated some time ago – the consultations still underway in Manila focuses on potential US sanctions in the event of the purchase of Russian military hardware, or the so-called CAATSA Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
However, Jane’s continues, if the Mi-171 deal goes through, it is expecting to use the funding from the state budget and the money allocated under the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program [RAFPMP], which in 2021 will receive 33 billion Philippine pesos [PHP].
The Department of Budget and Management of the Government of Manila also recently confirmed that it has approved and issued a grant of PHP 1.92 billion to support the acquisition of the Mi-171 through a “Special Allocation Order” [SARO].
In early December this year, the Philippines acquired new armored vehicles
The Philippine army purchased 28 Guarani 6 × 6 wheeled APCs for the amount of approximately USD 47 million. Iveco Defese will arms Philippines cars with an operated turret with a 12.7 mm machine gun or a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. All internal equipment, including the E-Lynx radio station, the COMBAT NG command and control system, and the TORCH-X battlefield management system, is delivered by the Israeli company Elbit Systems.
The Guarani 6 × 6 is a Brazilian wheeled combat vehicle developed and manufactured by the Iveco Defense Vehicles’ cooperation with the Brazilian defense industry based on the Iveco SuperAV wheeled armored personnel carrier. Its crew consists of two people [the driver and the weapons operator] and can carry up to nine landing troops. The drive in the form of a 383 HP Iveco Cursor 9 diesel engine with automatic gearbox provides a base weight of approx. 16.7 tons, a maximum speed of up to 110 km / h, and a full range of 600 km. Besides, the vehicle can also fly independently at a rate of up to 10 km / h and air transport in military transport aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules or KC-390. The truck is available in many different variants that can be adapted to the customer’s requirements.
Iveco Defense designed Guarani 6×6 for the Brazilian army’s needs, which in December 2009 decided to purchase 2044 Guarani 6 × 6s for a total amount of approx. EUR 2.5 billion with a deadline for completion by 2030. The prototype was delivered to the Brazilian Army in April 2010 and was first displayed to the public at the LAAD arms exhibition in April 2011. In December 2012, the first deliveries of serial carriers of this type began, and since March 2014, it has been in line service.
Currently, about 1/4 of the ordered vehicles have been delivered, which are gradually being introduced to the line service, where they replace the existing two models of primary wheeled combat vehicles – the EE-9 Cascavel armored reconnaissance vehicles and the EE-11 Urutu wheeled armored personnel carriers.
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