Air Force to get 4 more Huey choppers

Posted at 06/27/14 2:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Four of 21 UH-1 helicopters acquired by the military from North American suppliers have arrived in time for the Air Force anniversary next month.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the four combat utility helicopters are now in Clark.

“The four helicopters are being assembled so they can be displayed during the Air Force anniversary,” Gazmin said yesterday.

The Air Force will celebrate its 67th founding anniversary at Clark Air Base in Pampanga on July 1.

Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya said the four UH-1 helicopters or Hueys arrived last Sunday. He said the air assets would be used to transport troops and equipment and to conduct relief efforts.

“It will be used for delivery of relief goods during calamities,” he said.

Gazmin said three more Huey helicopters might be delivered next month.

“There were slight delays in the unloading of equipment in Port Area because of the traffic but hopefully, we will be able to complete all these projects within the year,” the defense chief said.

Last December, The STAR reported that a joint venture of two companies based in North America has bagged the deal to supply 21 UH-1 helicopters or Hueys to the Air Force.

The joint venture of American firm Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Canadian company Eagle Copters Ltd. won the contract for the supply and delivery of the Hueys, considered the workhorse of military operations.

The approved budget for the project was P1.26 billion. The 21 Hueys were purchased for about P1.25 million less than the approved outlay for the contract.