Russian Mi-17 ''seems a good fit'' for PAF heavy lift requirements
The Department of National Defense (DND) said a study shows Russian Mi-17 fits the Philippine Air Force (PAF) heavy lift helicopter requirements.
"There is an ongoing requirement for the Philippine Air Force to acquire a versatile helicopter with heavy lift capability for Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response (HADR), said Arsenio Andolong, DND public affairs service chief Friday.
"In line with the government's independent foreign policy and so as to ensure that we acquire the best possible aircraft under the most advantageous terms, the Technical Working Group of this project has carefully done research on available platforms being offered by several countries that could possibly meet the PAF's technical specifications," he said.
Initial study indicates that the Russian Mi-17 ''seems like a good fit'' for the PAF's heavy lift helicopter requirement as it is powerful enough to carry around 34 fully-equipped troops or lift a howitzer, added Andolong.
Andolong made his statement following reports about the Philippines' plan to acquire 16 units of Mi-17 helicopters from Russia.
The DND spokesman also emphasized the importance of such capability on the humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations of the military.
"This capability will be invaluable when there is a need to fly first responders, supplies, relief goods and heavy equipment to disaster stricken areas," he said.
"We are waiting for the return of the (Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana) SND before proceeding with the acquisition", he added. Robina Asido/DMS