The US State Department has notified the US congress that two possible sales of attack helicopters to the Philippines through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) were approved. The approved proposals include either six Boeing Apache AH-64E worth USD 1.5 billion or six Bell AH-1Z Viper worth USD 450 million.
The Boeing Apache AH-64E deal package includes six spares, as well as full armaments of 200 air-to-ground or AGM-1140 Hellfire missiles; 12 M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles; 300 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System kits; 18 new Stinger air-to-air launchers; 5,000 2.75 inch rockets; 80,000 rounds of 30mm ammunition; and radars, communications and targeting system. The Bell AH-1Z Viper deal package meanwhile includes two spares; six air-to-ground AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles; 26 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System kits; and radars, avionics and communications.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the Philippines is considering one of the two packages and will not purchase both. The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) welcomed the offer but is still looking at other options. The Secretary of DND said that the allocated budget is only PHP 13 billion (USD 257.8 million).
The Philippines allocated PHP 300 billion (USD 5.9 billion) to be spent between 2018 and 2022 for the modernization and upgrade of its military capability to catch-up with its neighboring countries in South East Asia and protect its national territory.
(Source: OneNews.PH; The Diplomat; Reuters)