With the two Gregorio Del Pilar class frigates and three AgustaWestland AW-109 "Power" helicopters now operational and able to carry out their patrol and surveillance roles, the Philippine Navy has now become a more capable force, PN flag-officer-in-charge Vice Admiral Jose Luis Alano said.
"Bringing both the Del Pilar frigates together with the helicopters provides a very potent capability for the Armed Forces of the
The two ships of these class are the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) which was commissioned last Nov. 22.
Having these ships and air assets in the fleet has greatly improved the maritime domain awareness capability of the PN, Alano pointed out.
He expects these capabilities to be further improved once the two armed versions of the AW-109s arrived in the third quarter of 2014 and the P18.9-billion contract for the missile-armed frigates of the Navy is finalized.
The PN earlier announced that the arrival of the three AW-109s has boosted the numbers of the Naval Air Group (NAG) by three.
Prior this, the NAG only operates one Robinson R-22 helicopter, Blohm B0-150 helicopter, two Islander aircraft and four Cessna light utility planes.
With the arrival of three AW-109s, the number of flyable assets of the NAG has increased to 11.
NAG pilots, who were trained to fly the AW-109s in
They added that the AW-109s is very maneuverable and very ideal for shipboard deployment.