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5:49 pm on 9 December 2022, Friday
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. assured the men in uniform that his administration will expedite the modernization goals of the Philippine Air Force.
On Friday, the President led the ceremonial blessing of two new T129 ATAK helicopters in Malacañang.
Marcos expressed hope that the modernization goal and PAF’s recent advancement will drive it to enhance its defense capabilities consistently, perform its duties effectively and protect the nation with vigor and pride.
He also expressed hopes that state-of-the-art helicopters will improve the Air Force’s operational readiness and responsiveness and empower it to fulfill its mandate to the country and the people.
On the other hand, Marcos also recognized the government of Turkiye and the Turkish Aerospace Industries for being “reliable partners” of the Philippines in modernizing the country’s air force.
At the same time, Marcos expressed gratitude to the PAF and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for their contribution to the nation’s external defense, internal security operations, as well as disaster relief and response operations.
Last March, PAF received the two T129 along with unspecific logistics support equipment under a $269 million government-to-government contract with Turkiye that was signed in July 2020.
The Philippines has six helicopters on order under the multi-million dollar contract, which is part of the Horizon 2 phase of the AFP modernization program.
The T129 helicopters are manufactured by Turkish Aerospace Industries and are based on the AgustaWestland A129 Mangusta design.