The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) expects the arrival in September of the first batch of six T129B ATAK attack helicopters. Arsenio Andolong, spokesperson for the DND, said on Tuesday the first two attack helicopters would be delivered in September. The remaining four units are expected to be delivered in February 2022 and February 2023 respectively. Philippine Air Force announced on 22 May that it was sending pilots and maintenance crews from its â€˜15 Strike Wing’ to Turkey to undergo T129B training at TA’s facilities in Ankara between late May and August.
The Philippine Department of National Defense has earmarked about $286.6 million for the attack helicopter programme, adding that the new multirole, twin-engined, tandem-seat platforms are expected to enhance the rotary-wing combat capabilities of the PAF, which currently fields MD 520MG and AW109E Power light attack helicopters in the counter-insurgency and ground support roles. Philippine Air Force was sending pilots and maintenance crews from its â€˜15 Strike Wing’ to Turkey to undergo T129B training at TA’s facilities in Ankara between late May and August.
On 18 December 2018, the Philippines and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TAI for new T129s for the PAF. No orders had been placed as of July 2020 due to problems exporting the T129 with the LHTEC CTS800-4A engine, which is made in the US. The Philippine government still wants to go through with the potential purchase. on 18 May that the US State Department had recently approved the export licence for the US-made LHTEC CTS800-4A engines that power the helicopter.
The TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK is a twin-engine, tandem seat, multi-role, all-weather attack helicopter based on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform. The helicopter is designed for advanced attack and reconnaissance missions in hot and high environments and rough geography in both day and night conditions. The T129 is the result of the integration of Turkish-developed avionics, airframe modifications, and weapon systems onto the AgustaWestland A129 airframe, with upgraded engines, transmission and rotor blades.