The Philippines will have more assets for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) missions as initial funding, valued at PHP 1.6 billion (USD 31.2 million), for the acquisition of 32 additional Polish-made S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters was released last December 22, 2021, by the Department of Budget and Management.
The S-70i units of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) were used to transport relief supplies and rescue personnel to areas battered by Typhoon Odette. They have also been utilized to transport Covid-19 vaccines in geographically isolated areas in the country. According to the Department of National Defense, the Philippines needs more helicopters primarily for HADR functions.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Army (PA) is also set to get Indian-made BrahMos medium-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles, valued at USD 375 million, within the third horizon (2023-2027) of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP). The BrahMos answers the PA requirement for Ground-Based Anti-Ship Missile (GBASM) and the mission of the field artillery to destroy, neutralize and suppress the enemy through cannon, rocket fires. The GBASM system is a mobile system with long-range precision capability to destroy hostile warships in territorial defense. The PA is also programmed to get two BrahMos batteries which will be used for coastal defense missions. The acquisition of two batteries will serve as the general support artillery unit in coastal defense that will complement the joint force in territorial defense.
Furthermore, the Philippine Army’s (PA) Armor Division also got a much-needed firepower boost with the delivery of 15 M125A2 armored mortar carriers (AMCs), which are equipped with 120mm mounted mortar systems (MMS) sourced from Israeli firm Elbit Systems. The new AMCs are part of the PA’s modernization project that will capacitate the country’s land force’s credible defense posture from various threats, local and international.
(Source: Philippine News Agency)