Philippines Air Forces's Bell UH-1D Huey Helicopters
Philippines Air Forces's Bell UH-1D Huey Helicopters

Philippines Air Forces to Reactivate Retired Hueys with Turkish Defense Company ASFAT

Turkish state-owned defense ASFAT signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) on April 27 at the Asian Defence and Security (ADAS) exhibition in Pasay City. Esad Akgün, Chief Executive Officer of ASFAT, and Raymond L Mitra, Acting President and CEO of PADC, signed the MOU. The MOU will pave the way for the maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and sustain the Philippine Air Force’s helicopters and aircraft. The agreement also includes the Philippines Air Forces’s UH-1D Huey Helicopters, some of which were already decommissioned following a fatal crash in January 2021.

The Philippine Air Force on October 15, 2021 announced that it had already retired ten of its “Huey” helicopters. Decommissioning means that a certain military asset or equipment has already finished its time of service and will no longer be used for military operations. The choppers were used by the Armed Forces of the Philippines for heli-lift operations. They were the aircraft that already served its purpose and new aircraft already arrived, the Bell 412, then the Black Hawk. The arrival of Black Hawk choppers also contributed to the retirement of the UH-1D. The purpose really of the “Huey” was more an interim solution for our challenges before on relief support.

The Memorandum of Understanding Signing Ceremony was held between ASFAT and PADC.

The Bell Huey family of helicopters includes a wide range of civil and military aircraft produced since 1956 by Bell Helicopter. This H-1 family of aircraft includes the utility UH-1 Iroquois and the derivative AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter series. The Huey UH-1D was designated the “Delta” by the US Army and as the Model 205 by Bell. The enlarged cabin could also accommodate six stretchers, double that of the earlier models, making the “Delta” a good MEDEVAC aircraft. In place of the earlier model’s sliding side doors with a single window, larger doors were fitted which had two windows, plus a small “hinged panel” with an optional window, providing access to the cabin.

ASFAT Inc., (Askeri Fabrika ve Tersane Isletme, Military Factory, and Shipyard Management) is a Turkish state-owned defense contractor. The company is under the jurisdiction of the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, which develop, manage and utilize the facilities and capabilities of the 27 ordnance factories and 3 public naval shipyards in Turkey that were previously led by the country’s Ministry of National Defense, to provide design, manufacture, maintenance, sustainment, and training for the global defense market. ASFAT has 27 military factories and 3 military shipyards, the experience of over 100 years