The Straits Times
Published on Dec 27, 2012

Philippines to buy three naval helicopters in modernisation effort


MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines said on Thursday that it would buy three naval helicopters from an Anglo-Italian manufacturer as part of its military modernisation programme amid a territorial dispute with China.

The three AW 109 "Power" helicopters from AgustaWestland will be acquired for 1.337 billion pesos (S$39.5 million) under an emergency procurement programme, the defence department said in a statement.

"The acquisition of these naval helicopters is one concrete step towards the fulfilment of our goal to modernise the Philippine Navy and our armed forces in general," Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin was quoted as saying.

He said that through this acquisition and other planned equipment purchases, the armed forces was demonstrating its intent to "secure the sovereignty of the state and the integrity of the national territory".