By Priam F. Nepomuceno
MANILA, (PNA) — Philippine Navy spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic announced Sunday that trainings for the maintenance, avionic, and flight crews of the three AW-109 “Power” helicopters of the PN are now ongoing.
He added that these teams are now undergoing instruction at Cesto Calende in Italy.
“The last batch of pilots undergoing training in the AW-109 will leave by the first week of November,” Fabic stated.
The PN spokesperson also said that these specialized trainings varies from two to four months.
“It is included in (acquisition) package and at no costs to the Philippine government,” he stressed.
Fabic said that morale is pretty good at the PN and personnel selected for these training programs are very proud that they are called to serve their country anew.
“The PN is also very thankful to the present administration for the continued support that the Navy is receiving,” the PN spokesperson emphasized.
The contract for the three AW-109 naval helicopters weresigned last April and will be delivered this coming December.
These choppers are worth around P1.33 billion.
The AW-109 “Power” is a three-ton class eight seat helicopter powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW206C engines.
The spacious cabin is designed to be fitted with a number of modular equipment packages for quick and easy conversion between roles.
The aircraft’s safety features include a fully separated fuel system, dual hydraulic boost system, dual electrical systems and redundant lubrication and cooling systems for the main transmission and engines.
The AW-109 has established itself as the world’s best selling light-twin helicopter for maritime missions.
Its superior speed, capacity and productivity combined with reliability and ease of maintenance make it the most cost effective maritime helicopter in its class.
For shipboard operations, the aircraft has a reinforced-wheeled landing gear and deck mooring points as well as extensive corrosion protection measures.
The ability to operate from small ships in high sea state enables the AW-109 to perform its mission when many other helicopters would be confined to the ship’s hangar.
Over 550 AW-109 “Power” and AW-109 light utility helicopters have been ordered for commercial, parapublic and military applications by customers in almost 50 countries.