Friday, January 4, 2013

Naval Helicopters to be Delivered by 2014

With the signing of the contract of agreement for the Philippines' three naval helicopters a done deal, the Dept. of National Defense expects the aircraft to be delivered and commissioned by 2014.

This is expected to gain impetus with the submission of the letter of credit to the manufacturer, AugustaWestland S.P.A., within the first quarter of 2013.

Upon receipt of this document, the helicopter builder and supplier has 365 working days to deliver the aircraft to the Philippines.

DND observers said they see no problem with the submission of the needed documents, adding that the waiting period for this will be quite short.

Earlier, the DND announced that the contract of agreement for the three naval helicopters were finally signed last Dec. 20.

The three rotary wing aircraft has a net price of P1,337,176,584.

The contract was signed by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and supplier AugustaWestland S.P.A.

The acquisition project was done under negotiated procurement through Section 53.2 (Emergency Procurement) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 9184.

“The acquisition of these naval helicopters is one concrete step towards the fulfillment of our goal to modernize the Philippine Navy, and our Armed Forces in general,” DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

On Nov. 28, AugustaWestland was declared by the Naval Helicopter Acquisition Project Negotiating Committee as the single calculated and responsive proponent after going through the process of a negotiated procurement.

The Italian Ministerio Della Difesa conducted a review of AugustaWestland’s proposal for the procurement of AW 109 Power Helicopter, including related logistic support and found out that the price per helicopter “seems to have been progressively reduced”, meaning they were sold cheaper.

The AW-109 a twin-engine, eight-seat multipurpose chopper.

First flown as the Agusta A109 in 1971, the craft has proven itself in light transport, medevac, search-and-rescue, and military roles.

It has a crew of one or two pilots and is capable of carrying seven to eight passengers and length of 42 feet 9 inches (13.04 meters).

The AW-109 has a rotor diameter 36 feet 2 inches (11.00 meters).

It has height of 11 feet 6 inches (3.50 meters).

The AW-109's powerplant consist of two Pratt & Whitney Canada 206C or Turbomeca Arrius 2K1 turboshafts, 567 hp or 571 hp (423 kW or 426 kW) each.

It has a maximum speed: 177 miles per hour (154 knots, 285 kilometers/hour).

It has ferry range: 599 miles (521 nautical miles, 964 kilometers) and a service ceiling: 19,600 feet (6,000 meters).

 The AW-109 also has a rate of climb: 1,930 feet per minute (9.8 meter per second).

Upon the recommendation of the DND Bids and Awards Committee, the Secretary of National Defense issued a notice of award last Dec. 4.

“With the other projects in the pipeline and our planned acquisition, we are now louder and clearer in our intent to upgrade the capability of our AFP to address its constitutional duty to 'secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory’,” Gazmin concluded.

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