MANILA -- Initial test flights for the Philippine Navy’s (PN) first anti-submarine warfare AgustaWestland AW-159 helicopter has begun in the United Kingdom.
"As confirmed by the Commander Naval Air Group (CNAG), the AW-159 has just started initial test flight as part of the manufacturer's trial. It is still scheduled for a series of test flights before scheduling its handover to the Philippines. According as well to CNAG, the flight signals the completion of the first unit," defense department spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Tuesday.
The Navy is acquiring two AW-159 helicopters for PHP5.4 billion, including their munition, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistic support.
The AW-159, formerly called the Future Lynx and Lynx Wildcat, is an improved version of the Westland Super Lynx military helicopter.
The helicopter, which has been ordered for the Royal Navy and British Army, is capable of speeds of 291 km. per hour, and has a range of 777 km., ferry range of 963 km., and an endurance of one-and-a-half hours (four hours and 30 minutes if fitted with auxiliary fuel).
The AW-159 can also be armed with rockets, machine guns, missiles, torpedoes, and depth charges. (PNA)