DND to acquire 24 attack helicopters

MANILA -- The Department of National Defense (DND) confirmed plans to acquire 24 brand-new attack helicopters which will be used by the military to support troops engage in fighting terrorists and other lawless elements.

This was confirmed by DND public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong in a message to the PNA Thursday.

"We have programmed procurement of 24 attack helicopters under the Second Horizon of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program. We are awaiting for the final approval of the Office of the President on the RAFPMP Second Horizon," he added.

However, the project still has no "ABC" (approved budget for contract) as of this posting, Andolong pointed out.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in a recent visit to the Army General Hospital in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, told wounded troops that the time for second equipment and armament is now a thing of the past.

There, he told soldiers present that his administration is planning to acquire at least 23 attack helicopters to help troops in defeating terrorists and other local threats.

The RAFPMP is divided into three horizons, with the first lasting from 2013 to 2017, the second from 2018 to 2022 and third 2023 to 2028.

The Second Horizon calls for the acquisition of equipment more attuned to external defense missions, including jet fighters and other air assets and missile systems.

Acquired during the First Horizon were the three Gregorio Del Pilar cutters, three combat utility helicopters for the Navy, two naval attack helicopters, six MPACs (multi-purpose assault craft), eight combat utility helicopters for the Air Force and refurbishment of two Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" cargo planes.

Source: Philippine News Agency