AgustaWestland has won the bidding to supply eight attack helicopters worth $80 million for the Philippine Air Force (PAF). The Philippine STAR reports. A notice of award was issued to AgustaWestland late last month. Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo confirmed the report, saying the helicopters may be delivered next year if the budget is released soon.
“If the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) releases the cash allocation, the letter of credit could be opened immediately and the helicopters could be delivered before the end of December next year,” Manalo said. According to Defense Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez the helicopters will be armed with two .50 caliber machine guns and rocket launchers. According to the bid documents the helicopters will be capable of navigating in bad weather and performing close air support. They will be delivered with full night operation capability with complete weapons system and integrated logistics support package.
AgustaWestland, the only bidder for the project, offered to supply the eight helicopters for $80 million US$. Defense officials previously said that the bid price is lower, compared to the helicopters purchased by other countries. According to the STAR, the bid translates to $10.3 million usd per unit, lower than the package price per unit of the helicopters acquired by the Bulgarian police ($10.4 million usd) and the Bangladesh Navy ($11.9 million usd).