Sunday, July 24, 2011

Philippines to acquire Sokól choppers for air defense

The Polish-made PZL W-3 Sokól helicopter from Jet Photos.

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 24, 2011) – The Philippine Air Force is buying eight Polish-made PZL W-3 Sokól helicopters as part of the military’s modernization program under the Aquino administration.

Philippine military spokesman Commodore Miguel Rodriguez said the new choppers will be used in search and rescue, and relief operations, including in combat and reconnaissance patrol.

Four the choppers are expected to arrive in November and the rest by next year to add to an ageing fleet of UH1H helicopters.

The spokesman did not say how much the Philippine would pay for the Polish helicopters manufactured by AgustaWestland Świdnik, but other sources placed the amount at around P2.8 billion.

The Sokól - a Polish word for “Falcon” – is a medium-size, twin-engine multipurpose helicopter first manufactured in 1979 with designs similar to the Mil Mi-2 helicopter of the former Soviet Union noon. (Mindanao Examiner)

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