Philippine Navy commissions first AW159 ASW helicopters

The Philippines Navy welcomed its first anti-submarine helicopters as it commissioned two AW159 Wildcats in a ceremony at the Naval Base Heracleo Alano in Cavite on June 17.

A Philippine AW159 helicopter is christened in a ceremony on June 17. Photo: Philippines Navy

The helicopters were commissioned after being delivered by Italy’s Leonardo in May this year.

Ordered in 2016 under a contract worth over €100 million, the helicopters had initially been expected to be delivered in 2018 from the company’s Yeovil plant in the United Kingdom.

The AW159s will be deployed aboard the new Jose Rizal-class frigates that are under construction in South Korea.

In addition to helicopters, the service also inducted two amphibious assault vehicles on the same day.

The vehicles were built for the two landing docks BRP Tarlac (LD-601) and BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602) by South Korea’s Hanwha Techwin.

The ceremony was organized to mark the occasion of the 121st anniversary of the Philippine Navy.

Philippine Navy photo of the AAWs