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The Philippine Air Force receives the first of the eight combat utility helicopters W-3 Sokol 1003121

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World Air Force News - Philippine
 
 
The Philippine Air Force receives the first of the eight combat utility helicopters W-3 Sokol.
 

The first four of the eight Sokol combat utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) were turned over to Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin in a ceremony held Friday, March 9, 2012, in this freeport.

     
The first four of the eight Sokol combat utility helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) were turned over to Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin in a ceremony held Friday, March 9, 2012, in this freeport.
The Defense Department of Philippine receives the first of the eight helicopter W-3 Sokol.
     

“Today’s ceremony is a very welcome event for the enhancement of the operational readiness of the Philippine Air Force. Our acquisition of these brand-new airbuses shall certainly boost the fire-fighting capabilities of our air force in accordance with armed defense’s certain goals,” Gazmin said, who was the guest of honor during the blessing and turn-over rites for the air defense assets.

Gazmin explained that the placement of the aircrafts in the air force inventory will boost its development of mission essentials and capabilities, mobility, firepower and accuracy, communications and survival mobility, and the ability to detect threat elements.”

Meanwhile, the other four Sokol helicopters will arrive in the country in November, said PAF Public Information Office chief Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol.

This undertaking is part of P2.8-billion contract signed between PZL-Swidnik SA and PAF in 2010, which includes a total of eight Sokol helicopters plus ground support equipment, spare parts, support services, and training for aircrew and maintainers.

Aircrew and maintainer training for the initial batch of aircraft were completed last month in Poland before the aircraft were air freighted to the Philippines.
PAF’s Sokols or “Falcon” in Polish are equipped with the latest navigation and avionics systems including a night vision goggle compatible cockpit, allowing it to operate day and night in all weather conditions.

This 6-ton class helicopter can transport up to 11 troops in the cabin or can lift up to 2,100 kilograms using its external cargo hook. The aircraft can also be fitted with a M60D machine gun on each side of the cabin.

PZL-Swidnik is Poland’s only helicopter company with the capability to design, develop and manufacture its own helicopters. It has its own Research and Development Center and with 3,500 employees is also the biggest aerospace manufacturer in Poland. (WLB/JGB-PIA 3)