Philippines confirms acquisition of 17 Russian helicopters.

Despite the risk of sanctions, the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) was able to strike a contract with Russia to purchase 17 Mil Mi-17 transport helicopters.

The Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) recently confirmed to the local press that it has successfully signed a contract to buy 17 Mil Mi-17 Hip transport helicopters from Russia. During a press conference, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed the successful signing of the contract in November 2021. In addition, the Philippine Government also paid the agreed deposit in early January 2022. The Philippine Air Defense Force (PAF) is expected to receive its first batch of helicopters within 24 months, around January 2024.

There have been questions about the ability to fulfill the contract from Russia because the country is currently under sanctions by the US through its CAATSA law, in addition, Russia is also under military and economic sanctions by the US. most Western countries and Asia-Pacific countries because of the conflict with Ukraine.

Lorenzana confirmed that the contract will be completed by the Russian side on the terms between the two parties, because this contract was signed three months before Russia attacked Ukraine.

The PAF unit selected the Mil Mi-17 Hip model because of its ability to lift heavy objects and its reasonable cost, about 256 million USD.

The Russian helicopter model is said to be suitable and cheaper than the CH-47F Chinook model manufactured by Boeing, USA with a large size and a much higher price.

The our correspondent from Philippines confirms that the first payment of 15% of the contract has been paid in May 2021, however, the completion of the contract has been pushed back due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic.

Upon completion of the contract, these will be the first Russian-made aircraft owned by the PAF and the first Russian-made military equipment used by the Philippines. Previously, AFP only used a number of transport vehicles from URAL and GAZ, as well as AKM guns donated by the Russian Government.

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