To expand its capabilities in protecting the country, Philippine Navy (PN) commissioned its newly acquired amphibious assault vehicles and anti-submarine helicopters during its 121st Anniversary held at Commodore Rudiardo A. Brown Area, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite, Monday, June 17th.
The guest of honor of the activity was the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Rodrigo Roa Duterte with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal and the Flag Officer in Command of PN, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad.
According to the report of PN, this year’s anniversary was highlighted with the blessing ceremony and commissioning of its two AW-159 “Wildcat” Anti-Submarine Helicopters and four Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs).
The 5.4 billion pesos anti-submarine helicopters are capable of locating submarines with its sonar capabilities.
According to Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) report, the helicopters will be assigned to the brand new two Jose Rizal-class frigates of the Philippine Navy; BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna from Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea. The navy assets are expected to be delivered on 2020.
Aside from its anti-submarine capabilities, the choppers can also be armed with machineguns, missiles, torpedoes and depth charges.
On the other hand, the 2.4 billion pesos eight AAVs from Hanwha Techwin will improve the amphibious capabilities of PN.
According to PNA, the AAVs will be assigned to the Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) and will be stationed on the two Tarlac-class landing platform docks, BRP Tarlac and BRP Davao del Sur.
The second batch of four AAVs will be delivered on August.
The AAVs armaments are .50 caliber machineguns, 40 mm grenade launcher and smoke launchers.