2 Turkish-made ATAK choppers, C-295 plane enter military service

Philippine Air Force chief Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas (right) and Lt. Gen. Erickson Gloria pour champagne into one of the ATAK helicopters during the acceptance and blessing ceremonies on Wednesday.

The two Turkish-made T-129 ATAK helicopters and the C-295 medium lift aircraft acquired by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) have officially entered the service following their formal acceptance and christening on Wednesday.

Officials led by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, according to PAF spokesman Col. Maynard Mariano, have officially added the choppers and the aircraft to the assets of PAF following their formal acceptance, turnover and blessing.

“For us, these new aircraft will not just beef up our capabilities, but in deep retrospect, carry the hopes and aspirations of what we want as an air force, to become a more agile and dependable organization,” said PAF chief Lt. Gen. Connor Anthony Canlas during the ceremony.

Mariano said Spanish Ambassador Jorge Moragas Sanchez and Turkish Ambassador Dr. Ismail Demir also attended the turnover and blessing.

The two T-129 helicopters, which were delivered on March 9, were acquired by the Philippines from the Turkish Aerospace Industries under the military’s modernization program. The Air Force has ordered six units of T-129s.

Military Public Affairs Office chief Col. Jorry Baclor said the ATAK helicopter had been designed for “advanced attack and reconnaissance missions.”

“The units will complement the several surface strike systems of the Air Force and will support the numerous missions of the military,” he said.

Baclor said that the C-295 form part of the first batch of deliveries from Spain’s Airbus Defense and Space where three C-295s have been ordered under the Air Force’s Medium Lift Aircraft Acquisition Project.

“It will be utilized to transport personnel and equipment as well as support disaster relief and humanitarian assistance operations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” Baclor said of the first delivered C-295.

Image credits: The Armed Forces of the Philippines Public Affairs Office


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