Our Bureau
11:26 AM, April 1, 2016
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AW 159 wildcat

The Philippine Department of Defense has signed a $116 million contract for the purchase of two Agustawestland AW 159 anti-submarine helicopters for the navy.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and AgustaWestland Limited Senior Vice President Stefano Bortoli on Tuesday inked the deal, Philstar reported Friday.

"After more than four decades of aspiring to improve its capability, our Navy has found optimism in this anticipated acquisition of a new state of the art equipment and weaponry to address the requirements of anti-sub-surface naval operations," Gazmin said.

The helicopters are expected to be delivered within 900 days after the signing of the notice to proceed.

The DND allotted P5.4 billion for the contract where AgustaWestland Limited emerged as the single calculated bidder.

"With the eventual availability and utilization of these new air assets, our navy can conduct naval operations with a high degree of confidence and reliability," the Defense chief said.

The military recently acquired new assets such as the South Korean-made FA-50PHs, Bell 205 combat utility helicopters, Airbus Military C-295 transport aircraft, new M-4 rifles and refurbished armored personnel carriers.

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