The Philippine Air Force has ordered eight Agusta Westland AW109 light attack helicopters, the Ministry of Defence in the Philippine capital of Manila confirmed.
Apparently only a budget allocation is needed for the order to be finalised. The Defence ministry even hopes that the choppers could be delivered before the end of 2014. The order is to be for the AW109P (Power) version, which will fly with rocket pods and machine guns once in Philippines Air Force service. They will have full night ops capability, should be able to be deployed in adverse weather conditions and provide close air support when needed.
The AW109P has a maximum cruise speed of 154 knots (285 km/h), a climb rate of 1930 foot per minute (9.8 m/sec), can hover up to 16,600 feet (5 km) and can fly up to an altitude of 19,600 feet (5.9 km). The maximum range with a 221 gal fuel tank at 5,000 feet is 512 nautical miles (948 km). The maximum endurance with the same fuel capacity is just 10 minutes short of 5 hours.
The order for the eight Philippine Air Force machines comes a few months after the Philippine Navy made a deal for three AW109Ps (plus two options) in the maritime version. Those helicopters will be used for missions to protect the Philippine interest in its economic zone protection, for surface surveillance, for search and rescue and for so-called maritime security missions.
Source: Philippine Ministry of Defence / Agusta Westland