Japan donates around P200m worth of helicopter spare parts
Around P 200 million (424 million yen) worth of UH-1H helicopter spare parts and maintenance equipment from Japan's Ministry of Defense were received by the Department of National Defense (DND) in a ceremony in Pampanga on Tuesday.
Arsenio Andolong, DND public affairs chief, said the acceptance, turnover and blessing ceremony were held at Clark Air Base Angeles City.
“The Philippines is very fortunate to be the very first country in the ASEAN group of nations to receive Japanese excess defense equipment,'' said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Lorenzana and Toshihiko Fujii, Assistant Commissioner of Japan’s Acquisition Technology and Logistics Agency, led the ceremonial transfer of the first batch of parts and equipment from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force to the Philippine Air Force (PAF), Andolong said.
“The first batch of the donated parts and equipment was successfully transported to the Philippines from Iruma Air Base in Saitama, Japan on March 13, 2019, and was primarily composed of dynamic power systems, rotor systems, and electrical systems,'' he said.
''The second batch is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2019,” Andolong added.
Major Aristides Galang, Philippine Air Force spokesman, said the first batch of donated parts and equipment weighs 16,187.60 lbs.
“The total amount of the whole spare parts that will be donated is approximately 5.3 billion yen (2.5 billion pesos) which covers the different systems such as the airframe structure, dynamic power system, control system, rotor system, hydraulic system, electrical system, instrumental system and accessory items,” he said.
Andolong said the donated parts and equipment “will be used by the PAF to restore the UH-1H helicopters deployed under the 505th Search and Rescue Group and the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, primarily for the humanitarian assistance and disaster response and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”
In his remarks, Lorenzana stressed the importance of donated parts and equipment in enhancing the capability of the Philippine Air Force.
“With these latest spare parts and maintenance equipment for our UH-1H helicopters (from the Japanese government), the Philippine Air Force could now start the restoration of several ‘Huey’ assets parked in its hangars back to operational status,” Lorenzana said.
“With more UH-1H flying our skies, our capabilities would be enhanced,” he noted.
''Moving forward, I sincerely hope that this increasing and growing Philippine and Japanese defense alliance and close partnership would expand further in the years to come,” he added.
Fujii said the donations will enhance the relationship of Philippines and Japan.
“This transfer of UH-1 parts would serve many purposes among others this would further strengthen our ties and friendship and certainly lead to increased capability of HADR transport and maritime surveillance for the Philippines and of course this will contribute to regional peace and stability,” he said.
“The importance of the transfer of these parts and equipment for UH-1 is threefold. One is of course the Philippine as an important ally for Japan, so any formal cooperation, deepening cooperation with your country is a priority for us, that is number one and of course we are hoping joint interest of the Philippines and Japan is to secure prosperity peace and stability of the region,” he noted.
“Well from that aspect, this might be a small step but still, important. So we are hoping the continuation and accumulation of cooperation of our two countries can be a big, eventually, player contributor to the stabilization and peace in this region,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS