Philippines Eye Acquisition of Surplus South Korean Helicopters
Philippines Eye Acquisition of Surplus South Korean Helicopters

Philippines Eye Acquisition of Surplus South Korean Helicopters

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) on Friday has expressed its intent to acquire surplus Bell UH-1H and McDonnell Douglas helicopters from South Korea. Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana expressed the intent in a congratulatory letter to newly-appointed South Korean Defense Minister Suh Wook. He added the DND plans to conduct a Joint Venture Inspection (JVI) in the fourth quarter of this year. The JVI will be conducted following strict biosafety protocols amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, by a team composed of representatives from the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

“The Joint Venture Inspection (JVI) will be conducted following strict bio-safety protocols amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, by a team composed of representatives from the DND and the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong said in a message. “The acquisition project for the South Korean UH-1H and MD500 helicopters is still in the exploratory stage, with the details yet to be finalized including the timeline and number of rotary-winged aircraft to be acquired.”

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South Korea is known to have retired UH-IH and MD-500 helicopters from military service early this year. The Philippine Air Force (PAF) is known to operate a number of UH-IH and MD-500 helicopters in its fleet. The PAF uses the UH-1H primarily for cargo and personnel transport and disaster relief missions while variants or models of the MD-500 in its inventory are utilized for ground attack or close-air support sorties. The acquisition project for the South Korean UH-1H and MD500 helicopters is still in the exploratory stage, with the details yet to be finalized including the timeline and quantity of the assets to be acquired.

The Bell UH-1 Iroquois (nicknamed “Huey”) is a utility military helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine, with two-bladed main and tail rotors. The UH-1 was the first turbine-powered helicopter produced for the United States military, and more than 16,000 have been built since 1960. The Iroquois was originally designated HU-1 which has remained in common use, despite the official redesignation to UH-1 in 1962. The MD Helicopters MD 500 series is an American family of light utility civilian and military helicopters. The MD 500 was developed from the Hughes 500, a civilian version of the US Army’s OH-6A Cayuse/Loach. The series currently includes the MD 500E, MD 520N, and MD 530F.

Philippines Air Forces UH-ID/UH-1H Utility Military Helicopters
Philippines Air Forces UH-ID/UH-1H Utility Military Helicopters
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