MANILA – Philippine authorities are prioritizing an agreement with Russia on the purchase of Mi-171 helicopters in 2019 and have decided to postpone the purchase of submarines, said Under-Secretary of National Defense of the Philippines Raymundo Elefante.
In April, Philippines Undersecretary of National Defense Cardozo Luna said that Manila is considering the possibility of acquiring 16 or 17 Mi-171 helicopters in Russia and also a small submarine by 2027.
“Helicopters are a priority, we are in the initial phase of the acquisition process, the documents have not yet been signed, but we hope to do so this year,” said Elefante at the 2019 International Army Forum held in Russia between June 25 and 30.
He said the Philippines needs a lot to have these devices to carry out life-saving operations during natural disasters and other emergency situations.
Revealing that the purchase of Russian submarines has been delayed because of its high price and because the country has other priorities, the Undersecretary of Defense has recognized that such equipment is necessary to protect the Philippine coastline.
Meanwhile, the Russian Aerospace Force has incorporated two Mi-28NM Nochnoi Okhotnik (Night Hunter) helicopters, according to Russia’s Helicopter consortium director Andrei Boginsky.
“An initial batch of six machines is to be incorporated into the Russian Aerospace Force next year,” Boginsky said in a Zvezda interview.
According to helicopter designer Vitaly Scherbina, the Mi-28NM uses a wide range of means of attack, including air-to-air missiles, and can even shoot down enemy missiles.
In addition, thanks to the new missile, whose name and characteristics are classified, the Mi-28HM is capable of eliminating ground targets without entering the enemy’s air defense zone.
The Mi-28NM, developed by the Russian Helicopter consortium, is a new-generation helicopter capable of operating under all weather conditions. Among the missions that can be accomplished are the disposal of armored equipment, aerial targets flying the low attitude, aerial reconnaissance, as well as the indication of targets for other helicopters and airplanes.
The device is equipped with an extra control system, which significantly increases the survival of the helicopter if one of the pilots is injured. Now the Mi-29NM is undergoing state testing before being handed over to the Armed Forces.
By 2027, the Ministry of Defense of Russia is to buy 98 helicopters of this model.