Japan-donated 'Huey' parts, equipment to arrive Q1 2019

By Priam Nepomuceno

November 11, 2018, 11:17 am

MANILA -- The turnover of the UH-1H "Huey" spare parts and maintenance equipment donation from Japan is tentatively scheduled in the first quarter of 2019.

This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a statement over the weekend.

"Following the Exchange of Notes, the DND and the Japan Ministry of Defense (JMOD) will coordinate and finalize the details and schedule of the transfer. The actual turnover of the first batch of spare parts and equipment is tentatively scheduled in the first quarter of next year," Andolong said.

Andolong said these spare parts and equipment will be used for the Philippine Air Force’s current compliment of UH-1H helicopters being used for humanitarian assistance and disaster response, transport, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

The PAF is known to operate between 20 to 40 types of the "Huey" helicopter.

Meanwhile, Japan and the Philippines on Nov. 7 signed exchange of notes for two Official Development Assistance projects geared towards rehabilitating the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and enhancing defense.

In Tokyo's grant aid for Philippine defense enhancement, Japan will be allotting some 10.68 billion yen (at least PHP5 billion) worth of spare parts and maintenance equipment of UH-1H helicopters to the PAF consisting of the following categories: airframe structure; dynamic power system, control system; rotor system; hydraulic system; electrical system; instrument system; accessory equipment, among others.

On the country's mass transport system, Japan's grant aid involves a 38-billion yen (around PHP17.79 billion) loan for MRT3's complete rehabilitation.

PH, Russia joint group on defense cooperation convened anew

In a related development, the DND announced that the Joint Working Group (JWG) was convened for the second time in Moscow last November 7 as part of Manila's efforts to interact more with its Russian defense counterparts.

Andolong said this is in accordance with the 2017 Agreement on Defense Cooperation with the DND and the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The Philippine side was headed by DND Assistant Secretary for Assessment and International Affairs Teodoro Cirilo T. Torralba III while Russia was represented by Col. Maxim Vladimirovich Penkin, Head of the 5th Department of the Main Directorate of the International Military Cooperation.

"The JWG serves as a platform for both countries to discuss military-to-military engagements or activities for both countries. For the second JWG meeting, the two countries finalized the Plan of Military Cooperation Activities," Andolong said in a statement.

"The plan consists of activities/engagements, which both sides agreed to conduct in 2019 to include high level exchanges, port visits of navy vessels, attendance in conferences/fora, general staff consultations, cooperation and security consultations, reciprocal visits of delegations and observers for military training activities, and education and training exchanges," the DND spokesperson emphasized.

In relation, Andolong said the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the JWG on Defense Cooperation was signed during the meeting. (PNA)