Philippines Cleared to Buy Apaches or Vipers

A US Army AH-64 Apache. US DOD

SHAH ALAM: Philippines is cleared to buy Apaches or Vipers. Washington has approved a request for the Philippines to purchase of up to six Boeing AH-64E Apache or the Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. The approval does not mean that the purchase has been done. The FMS sale package for the Apaches will cost up to US$1.5 billion (RM6.4 billion) while the Vipers is US$450 million (RM1.9 billion).

The Pentagon said the Philippines is considering either the AH-64E or the AH-1Z to modernize its attack helicopter capabilities. The proposed sale will assist the Philippines in developing and maintaining strong self-defense, counterterrorism, and critical infrastructure protection capabilities. The Philippines will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment and support into its armed forces.

A US Marines AH-1Z Viper. US DOD

The detail equipment list for the Apache purchase:

The Government of the Philippines has requested to buy six (6) AH-64E Apache attack helicopters; eighteen (18) T700-GE-701D engines (12 installed, 6 spares); fifteen (15) Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Inertial Navigation (EGIs) w/Precise Positioning Service (PPS) (12 installed, 3 spares); two hundred (200) AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; twelve (12) M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); three hundred (300) Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Kits; one thousand seven hundred (1,700) Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) Guidance Sections; six (6) AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (M-TADS/PNVS); six (6) AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars (FCR) with Radar Electronic Units (REU); six (6) AN/APR-48B Modernized-Radar Frequency Interferometers (M-RFI); eight (8) AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (6 installed, 2 spares); two hundred (200) FIM-92H Stinger missiles; eight (8) Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-2i) Video Receivers (6 installed, 2 spares); and eight (8) Manned­Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-2i) Air-Air-Ground Kits (6 installed, 2 spares). Also included are eight (8) AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting sets (6 installed, 2 spares); eight (8) AN/APR-39C(V)l+ Radar Signal Detecting sets (6 installed, 2 spares); fourteen (14) Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS) radios (12 installed, 2 spares); fourteen (14) UHF/VHF/LOS airborne radios (12 installed, 2 spares); eight (8) AN/APX-123A (V) Common Transponders (6 installed, 2 spares); eight (8) IDM-401 Improved Data Modems (6 new, 2 spares); eight (8) AN/ARN-149 (V)3 Automatic Direction Finders (6 installed, 2 spares); eight (8) Doppler ASN-157 Doppler Radar Velocity Sensors (6 installed, 2 spares); eight (8) AN/APN-209 Radar Altimeters (6 installed, 2 spares); eight (8) AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation sets (TACAN) (6 installed, 2 spares); four (4) TACAN Ground Stations; eight (8) Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Range/Instrument Landing Systems (VOR/ILS) (6 installed, 2 spares); three (3) AN/PYQ-10(C) Simple Key Loader (3 new); six (6) M230El + M139 AWS Automatic Gun (6 new); eighteen (18) M261 rocket launchers (12 new, 6 spares); eighteen (18) M299 missile launchers (12 new, 6 spares); six (6) rocket motor, 2.75-inch, MK66-4, Inert (6 new); six (6) High Explosive Warhead for Airborne 2.75 Rocket, Inert (6 new); eighteen (18) Stinger air-to-air launchers (18 new); twelve (12) Stinger Captive Flight Trainers (CFT) (12 new); six (6) Stinger Aerial Handling Trainers (AHT) (6 new); five thousand (5,000) each 2.75 inch rockets (5,000 new); eighty thousand (80,000) 30mm rounds (80,000 new), training devices, communication systems, helmets, simulators, generators, transportation and organization equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $1.5 billion.

The detail equipment list for the Vipers:

The Government of the Philippines has requested to buy six (6) AH-1Z attack helicopters; fourteen (14) T-700 GE 401C engines (12 installed, 2 spares); seven (7) Honeywell Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Inertial Navigation (EGIs) w/Precise Positioning Service (PPS) (6 installed, 1 spare); six (6) AGM-114 Hellfire II missiles; and twenty six (26) Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) all up rounds. Also included is communications equipment; electronic warfare systems, AN/AAR-47 Missile and Laser Warning System, AN/ALE-47 Countermeasure Dispenser System, AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Receiver, seven (7) M197 20mm machine guns (6 installed, 1 spare), Target Sight System (TSS), 5,000 20mm Semi-Armor Piercing High Explosive Incendiary (SAPHEI) rounds, two (2) AIM-9M Sidewinder training missiles, MJU-32 and MJU-38 Magnesium Teflon pyrotechnic decoy flares, flight training device, LAU-68 rocket launchers, LAU-61 rocket launchers, support equipment, spare engine containers, spare and repair parts, tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $450 million.

A US Army AH-64 Apache. US DOD

I am not sure whether the Philippines government will go ahead with the purchase due to the current issue with the Covid 19 pandemic effects but if they decided on the Vipers, it could be delivered early. The US had halted deliveries of nine of the attack helicopters to Pakistan due to deteriotating relations between both countries.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

38 Comments

  1. This is probably just for window shopping. I dont think they can afford to buy either the Apache or Vipers. Anyway they have just received 2 donated AH-1S from Jordan.

    If they do get an attack helicopter, this is the most likely path to it
    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/17810/pentagon-to-sell-off-its-ah-1w-super-cobra-attack-helicopter-fleet

    Now relating this request to our own army. You can see that the cost of 6 Apaches is greater than the entire malaysian army development budget for 1 rancangan malaysia.

  2. Yeah we cant afford both of them which is understandable..For now the priorities for our armed force is to replace the Nuris and make sure to received all md530g that already ordered..After Nuri replacement procurement program already in motion than by that time maybe we can consider to go for dedicated attack helicopter..Its a shame though that our armed force as i’ve been told will never go for russian helis anymore cuz on paper ka52 and mi28 looks like quite capable/alternative platform and cheaper too..ansat 2rc also look better than md530g on paper at least as light attack/recce heli too with up too 600km range.

  3. So USD$450mil is the bare minimum to spend if we continue to hanker for a true attack chopper instead of making do with the MD530s as the best compromise in view of our cash-strapped budget. Realistically it would be near USD$600mil as we don’t have the spares, maintenance and training facilities already available to Phillipines since they had been a long time AH-1 user.

    Reply
    Not really, the difference between the Cobra and Viper is like day and night. The only thing that’s the same is the best way to employ them. The Philippines have been using helicopters as ground attack aircraft for a long time it will be beneficial but it will take a great leap to fully utilize the Vipers

  4. Actually the Vipers that Pakistan ordered few years ago are now stored at AMARG, USA.

    US Government has cancelled the orders and any country who has the bling bling can buy those Pakistan destined Vipers.

    Just thought I’d share a bit.

  5. ..or maybe not 2rc cuz 2rc got no windows for sf insertion..Or we can always follow Mr M suggestion to scrap the procument of md530g ( Transfer them to the police, strip most of the armament mybe keep the gun and surveilance equipment ) and start light attack/recce program afresh with h145m or other no nonsense model this time..As i understand the police also looking for more capable and lighter helis for recon and their own elite force insertion.

  6. Since pinoy are cleared to buy Apaches, why not Malaysia do the same like them after the pademic ends.

  7. On the md530g

    The best thing to be done with them is to give them to the aussie army as a part exchange with their S-70A-9 blackhawks.

    They get their SOF helicopters for their Land 2097 Phase 4 requirements, we get our nuri replacement for PUTD. Win win for both parties.

    http://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/10/02/australia-releases-rfi-for-at-least-16-special-operations-helicopters/

    http://www.janes.com/article/89814/mdhi-offers-single-and-twin-engined-helicopters-for-australian-sof-role

    http://www.helis.com/h2/blackhawk_australia_army_110.jpg
    Unique among land blackhawks is the aussie ones using seahawk rotor transmission with rotor brake for use on board ships.

    @ safran
    Why ask if we cannot afford to buy them?

  8. @ marhalim

    ” The Philippines have been using helicopters as ground attack aircraft for a long time ”

    If you are just need a helicopter to perform as ground attack aircraft or for Close Air Support (CAS), you don’t really need a specialized attack helicopter that is actually designed to stalk and hunt MBTs. A Blackhawk with External Stores Support System (ESSS) wing blistering with cannons, rockets and missiles can perform the task as good as a specialized attack helicopter could.

    http://assets.verticalmag.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Armed_Black_Hawk_1783.v2.jpg

    http://defpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Sikorsky-S-70i-Blackhawk-SP-YVA.jpg

  9. On the md530g

    The best thing to be done with them is to give them to the aussie army as a part exchange with their S-70A-9 blackhawks.

    They get their SOF helicopters for their Land 2097 Phase 4 requirements, we get our nuri replacement for PUTD. Win win for both parties.

    http://www.defensenews.com/industry/2018/10/02/australia-releases-rfi-for-at-least-16-special-operations-helicopters/

    http://www.janes.com/article/89814/mdhi-offers-single-and-twin-engined-helicopters-for-australian-sof-role

    http://www.helis.com/h2/blackhawk_australia_army_110.jpg
    Unique among land blackhawks is the aussie ones using seahawk rotor transmission with rotor brake for use on board ships.

    @ safran
    Why ask if we cannot afford to buy them?

    @ anon
    It is just a request for price. We also requested for Super hornet price before. Nothing happened

  10. 450 million for 6 AH-1Z + spares, training and support seems fair imo tho I’d rather see more EC725 for the air force and H225 (or even H215) for the army first.

  11. Just no more secondhand and used equipment for our armies..no thank you sir..Aussie will think twice about our MD530g with well known scandal behind them so the aussie will stay away from our MD530g..Im kinda sick with suggestion that we need to get used or secondhand equipment for our armed forces.It will not bode well in the future.

  12. @Marhalim
    The fact is, PH had been employing AH-1s for a long time enough to competently handle the Z variant. Sure its a leap for them, but it ain’t as big as coming from us.

    We need the MDs to get our feet wet on usage of attack choppers and get the operational doctrine right before we go for a full on bruiser.

  13. @ firdaus

    If you are sick with that suggestion, please start by volunteering to pay more taxes and take less subsidies from the government. That would help a lot for the government to have more money in they purse.

    Or else please give a suggestion on how can we buy all new stuff with an overall army 5 year budget that is not even enough to buy 6 brand new Apaches.

    FYI the army year 2020 development expenditure is about RM750 million. If we want to buy 6 apaches, we need 8.5 years worth of budget to buy that. No need to buy lorries, jeeps, HMPVs, IFVs, new helmets, new radios or anything else for 8.5 years into the future to get 6 apaches. Is that fine for you? Or would you like to have no free high quality medical care like we have right now to transfer more budget to buy apaches?

    BTW MD530G scandal? It is the fault of us as the buyer, not the helicopter, as we are trying our best not to take what we already ordered. As we dont want the helicopter, why not giving them to those that is looking for such a helicopter in the first place?

  14. Just admit it, its not like we dont have the dough..We do have them.Just our procurement process is obscure..The army doesnt want Md530g anymore cuz the agent company already gulung tikar lol..

  15. @ joe

    Philippines using AH-1 for a long time?

    If you consider receiving the 2 units donated by Jordan on 26 November 2019 is a long time, then yes i guess…

  16. Im not really suggesting that we get the apaches.Ofcoz not.Just not used equipment anymore as tudm and putd need to used them ( nuri replacement heli ) as workhose.Imagine using a secondhand helis as workhose, it will break eventually sooner rather than later, and we need to buy a new one so soon.At the very least, new helis will not give trouble for them in a short term.

  17. @ firdaus

    Are you talking to yourself? It is you that is not admitting reality, expecting expensive brand new assets and dont want any used items for our army. Our defence budget is small. Fullstop. Just deal with it and discuss within the budgetary constraint that we have.

    The agent company gulung tikar?? Seriously, you have no idea what nonsense you are talking about.
    http://www.bharian.com.my/bisnes/korporat/2020/02/660453/projek-helikoter-md530g-diteruskan-destini

  18. I am all for Blackhawk gunships. I don’t think we really need a dedicated gunship platform like Apache or Vipers yet…at least in our terrain here I doubt there would be tanks rolling through Lahad Datu for which those gunships were designed to counter at the first place.

    Or is it possible to have common platform between the Army and the Air Force? Like a EC725 as a base platform?

  19. @…
    Yup sorry. Got confused AH-1 with UH-1. They had been using Huey gunships and still seeking for a dedicated attack chopper.

    I think we can see from historical track record the role of transporter converted to gunship had always been proven to be unsatisfactory and the fact that most of these gunship users in the end went for a dedicated attack chopper platform. The only chopper that somewhat successfully combined both transport & attack function to some degree of success would be HIND but I don’t see us getting these anytime soon.

  20. @dundun @ASM

    The ideal choice would be more H225m/EC725 Cougars for Army’s medium lift helicopter requirement to replace Nuris to reduce maintenance cost. But bare in mind that we bought our Cougars for usd50m+ each in 2008 while Kuwait bought their Cougars at usd33m each (dunno why). Seems like most of the stuff that we bought from France like Gowind and Scorpenes are kinda more on the expensive side compared to the prices of same equipment bought by other counties (Chile with scorpenes & Egypt with Gowinds). Am I correct? Can someone clarify this?

  21. Better to have awacs first rather than this heli. Or we can buy ulitily heli with armamed like UH-60m. We are not rich enough to buy something like this.

  22. Attack heli is not the priority now. It will not be for some time. There is a rumour floating around lately that the Kuwaiti Hornets would be sold to the Saudi’s who would then resell them to Malaysia under a financing scheme. That would increase our strike power tremendously.
    Go for it if its true. Secondhand notwithstanding

  23. @ luqman

    Actually almost all of the scopenes cost about the same. Around usd500-600 mil each.

    Our cougars cost about usd35 million each. The contract was for RM1.43 billion from auditor general 2016 report. Secondhand EC225LP is priced between usd4-10 million each.

    Egyption gowinds is a corvette and has no extensive asw equipment as the maharajalela class. The cost also excludes all the missiles and torpedoes.

  24. luqman

    We bought 12 of those EC-725 for $500 million which is about $41 million a pop. Kuwait bought 30 H225M at $1.2 billion or 40 million per airframe. Sure there’s the issue of inflation but then again technology, as a general rule, gets cheaper as years gone by

  25. Off topic, SAAB is testing new AESA radar antenna for Gripen C/D.
    https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing/saab-aesa-trial-offers-gripen-c/d-users-new-upgrade-path/138110.article

    This could mean that RMAF can opt for this radar if they choose either FA-50s or Gripen C/D if the Americans allow it to be installed on FA-50s. For LCA, an FA-50 with AESA radar, Radar Warning receivers, Missile Approach Warning receivers and targeting pods would be a formidable cheap light fighter. Though if the Sweeds could offer a sweet price/deal for Gripen C/D with IRIS-T missiles and jamming pods is something that should be seriously considered. Gripen has proven itself in Red Flags due to its advance EW suites scoring some kills on Typhoons and F15s. Even the Thais were doing well in an exercise with China Su-27 and J-10.

  26. Or we can always opt for s70i produced at pzl mielec poland like the pinoys did..Their deal fo 16 units of s70i are about usd242 mill..Thats about only 16m per unit.If we want only 12 units it could be lower than 200mill..

  27. Sure its looks like underspec and basic configuration but hey at least its brand new and we can always arm them if we want when we got enough money in the future as i believed s70i is licensed product of blackhawk for pzl meilec poland same like t70 from tai turkey..Much more affordable than 500mill for 12 new caracal although i must admit im liking the caracal more..

  28. @dundun @…
    Thank your for the clarification. Mistake on my part.

    So does the usd460m price tag of our Maharajalela includes the missiles and torpedos too?

  29. @ luqman

    ” So does the usd460m price tag of our Maharajalela includes the missiles and torpedos too? ”

    It should be, as the order for NSMs is included in the cost already paid for the gowinds up to date.

  30. @Lee Yoke Meng

    If the rumours right about the Kuwaiti Hornets, and the Saudi resell is proven right, I sincerely hope there’ll be minimum hee-hawings of disatisfaction with using used equipment. This would be the best stopgap news coming our way that will be made sweeter if our LCS project’s successfully completed. So far, we live on hope. And for what it’s worth, the investment Malaysia has made in our healthcare management has proven it’s worth. Am proud of the fact the present Malaysian heroes are no longer just boys in blue or camouflage.
    So perhaps we need to soldier on with what we have defence-wise, and not dream on & on of procuring dedicated attack helis.

  31. On the aussie retirement of their S-70A-9 blackhawks.

    Five of the Army’s 34 surviving Black Hawk helicopters have also been earmarked for preservation and will be allocated to the Australian War Memorial, Australian Army Flying Museum at Oakey, RAAF Museum Point Cook and the RAAF Aviation Heritage Centre at Amberley.

    “Defence expects that 34 Black Hawks will be disposed. Five have been allocated to heritage purposes, with the number to be sold commercially yet to be confirmed,” the spokesperson added. “Defence will not know the buyers until completion of commercial approach to market.”

    So there will be up to 29 blackhawks available. We missed the hornets, dont let the blackhawks go without having a look at them.

    http://www.australiandefence.com.au/news/defence-provides-update-on-hornet-disposal-plans

    The aussies have advanced plans for preservation of their historic aircrafts. What about us? What about our nuris, pc-7 and Mig-29s?

  32. “The aussies have advanced plans for preservation of their historic aircrafts. What about us? What about our nuris, pc-7 and Mig-29s?”….reality is they’re retired,some had been dismantled. Not sure if any have been earmarked for gate-keeper,museum static exhibit. As I dont have millions as small change, I can’t buy any as private collection although interested to keep a sample for posterity.

  33. “The aussies have advanced plans for preservation of their historic aircrafts. What about us? What about our nuris, pc-7 and Mig-29s?”

    If we can’t commit to a proper museum, the least we can do is put a temporary roof over them.

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