Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Three Naval Helicopters Equips with Anti-Submarine Gears

The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at equipping three naval helicopters due for delivery in 2014 with anti-submarine gears to further enable the aircraft to detect intruders in Philippine waters.

A senior defense official was referring to the three AugustaWestland AW109 naval helicopters, the contract of agreement of which was signed Dec. 20 last year. With a net price of P1,337,176,584, the three rotary wing aircraft are expected to be delivered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in 2014.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had earlier said that the acquisition of these naval helicopters is one concrete step toward the fulfillment of the government’s goal of modernizing the Philippine Navy (PN), and the AFP in general.

This early, a DND official said they are considering the installation of anti-submarine equipment to the AW109 helicopter to make it more capable in detecting undersea intruders.

The equipment being considered will include the so-called dipping sonar and magnetic anomaly detection device.

But due to weight constraints, specialized anti-submarine weapons like homing torpedoes will not be fitted. Instead, the helicopters will be used to detect and track the submarine target and forward its location to the two new frigates the country is expected to acquire in the next two years.

The ships, which are expected to be fitted with anti-submarine weapons, will have the job of neutralizing or driving away from Philippines waters these intruders.

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