Lorenzana says gov't to buy 34 more Black Hawk choppers; Canlas is new PAF chief
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced that a notice for the funding of the acquisition of additional 32 Black Hawk helicopters was released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) on Monday.
"I would like to announce that last night, yesterday I received a notice from the DBM for the funding of the 32 black hawk helicopters, additional," he said during the change of command and retirement ceremony of the Philippine Air Force in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Tuesday.
"I am very happy that before his term ends we will be able to sign the contract for the 32 additional BlackHawk helicopters," he added.
Maj. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas Sr. assumed office as the new chief of the Philippine Air Force, replacing Lt. Gen. Allen Paredes who reached his mandatory retirement age on Tuesday.
Canlas, in his assumption speech, said: ''My standing order is mission first, safety always, strive for mission accomplishments and look after the moral and welfare of our personnel."
Lorenzana said Duterte wants to buy more BlackHawk helicopters so the Philippine Air Force will be able to retire their UH-1H helicopters.
"When we were trying to convince the president to buy these BlackHawk helicopters many many years ago, I think in 2019, I tried to convince him to buy more, we started in 16. I signed the contract in Nov. 2019,'' said Lorenzana.
The following year, six BlackHawk helicopters were delivered and last week they delivered the last five, said Lorenzana.
''So we have now 16. Unfortunately one crashed so we have 15," he said.
"Anyway the president added 'let's buy many so that we can retire the Hueys because many of the crew died because of these Hueys'. So that is the plan actually," he added. Robina Asido/DMS