The Philippine Navy (PN) is expected to receive in March its first two anti-submarine helicopters and four out of eight amphibious assault vehicles it has ordered for the Marine Corps. This was disclosed by PN flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad during a chance interview shortly after the New Year’s Call at the AFP Commissioned Officers’ Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City Tuesday. “(Aside from the two anti-submarine) helicopters, ‘yung (the) amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) ng (of the) Marines. Eight yun (order) pero four ang darating ngayong (but four of them will arrive in) March. Maganda ‘yung capability nun (It has good capability),” he added.
Empedrad was referring to the AgustaWestland AW-159 “Wildcat” anti-submarine helicopter, which the PN has contracted for two units worth PHP5.4 billion, including weapons, mission essential equipment and integrated logistic support and the eight AAVs acquired from Hanwha Techwin for PHP2.42 billion. The anti-submarine helicopters will give the PN the capability to detect and neutralize underwater threats while the AAVs will boosts the Marine Corps sea-based capability. Also, Empedrad said that personnel expected to man the “Pohang”-class corvette donated by South Korea are expected to depart within this month and start training on the above-mentioned ship, with the intention of sailing it home within the soonest possible time
The AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat (previously called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat) is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter designed to serve in the battlefield utility, search and rescue and anti-surface warfare roles. In British service, common variants are being operated by both the Royal Navy and British Army to replace their Lynx Mk.7/8/9 rotorcraft. The AW159 has also been offered to several export customers, and has been ordered by the Republic of Korea Navy and the Philippine Navy.
Korea Amphibious Assault Vehicle (KAAV) is designed to meet the tactical requirements of Marine Corps in 21 century’s warfare. Since its introduction, the KAAV has undergone a series of modifications and upgrade programs which earned the reputation as the finest amphibious assault vehicle in the world. KAAV7A1 family of vehicles now being coproduced by Hanwa Techwin (previously Samsung Techwin) and BAE systems is the most advanced version of the AAV7/LVT7. KAAV7A1 provides an effective fire-power and state-of-the-art armor protection, command, control, and repair capabilities while transporting troops and cargo from ship to shore. In addition, the vehicle has the ability to negotiate 3-meter plunging surf, difficult beaches, and rough terrain.