Two Wildcats for the Philippines

SHAH ALAM: Finmeccanica has announced that it has been awarded a contract, valued at over 100 million euros, to supply the Philippine Navy with two AgustaWestland AW159 helicopters. The aircraft will be built and delivered from the Finmeccanica Helicopter Division’s Yeovil plant, in the United Kingdom, in 2018.

The confirmation of the deal came in the heels of the announcement made by the Philippines recently.

According to the company, the order includes training and multi-year support and adds to those by the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea. It said the order was a testament to the long standing relationship between the Philippine Armed Forces and Finmeccanica following previous aeronautics and helicopter programmes.

AW159 Wildcat
AW159 Wildcat

The two helicopters will be equipped with sophisticated state-of-the-art mission equipment and sensors, primarily dedicated to anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare roles. The helicopters will also be capable of performing other roles including search and rescue, maritime security and maritime surveillance.
AW159 Wildcat of the Royal Navy
AW159 Wildcat of the Royal Navy

Mauro Moretti, Finmeccanica’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, said: “This contract confirms the confidence of the Philippines in Finmeccanica’s products as key to its national security and is a further recognition, in the international market, of the company’s leadership in the maritime and naval helicopter segment.

“We will deliver to the Philippine Navy a state-of-the-art product, unmatched in the modern operational scenarios, and customized to meet their specific needs. Also, we will provide the customer with support and training solutions that will enable them to take full advantage of the capabilities of its new helicopters.”

— Malaysian Defence

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20 Comments

  1. If they didn’t screw up the sokol procurement progrramme, they could opt for ASW variant of the sokol at significantly lower price than what they paid for the wildcats

    Reply
    The Sokol ASW helicopter is not going anywhere. Why should they buy something which has not been fully developed and already in service for?

  2. Lets say RMN’s next heli is a Wildcat, does the package comes with RN ASW guru?

    Reply
    More likely USN as they do operate in our region unlike the RN which specializes in the north Atlantic region

  3. The money aside, it’s a tough choice between Wildcat and MH-60..

    From a commonality viewpoint, logic dictates we go for Wildcat as it shares the same engine as Super Lynx and some parts are common. Plus we already have years of experience operating Super Lynx and the support infrastructure. The problem is, the RN does not operate Wildcats configured for ASW so we’ll have to develop our own specific doctrine with help from the OEM and experience gained along the way – same situation as with the MKMs; the Russians and Indians helped us develop a maintenance/operating syllabus but we had to develop our own combat training syllabus as the MKM has gear that’s specific to it. In case someone points out that the MKM and MKI share the same radar and other gear; true but the MKM has gear that’s specific to it; hence the need for our own combat training syllabus.

    If we bought the MH-60, the training advantages are obvious as we train with the USN on a regular basis; as well off course with the RAN.

    Reply
    I think the training advantages plus others you mentioned from USN is why the Seahawks remained a viable option for RMN. It’s probably what the FMS officials keep talking about whenever they got the chance

  4. nimitz – ” does the package comes with RN ASW guru?”

    Depends entirely on the training/support package we negotiate.

    For the Super Lynx deal, there were Fleet Air Arm pilots here for a limited period. Most of the training, including conversion and simulator was done at Yeovilton. For the Wasps; Westland and Fleet Air Arm pilots were also at Lumut for a limited period.

  5. There are many users of lynx with years of asw experience such as France, Germany and Portugal. Currently one of the largest user of asw configured lynx helicopters is the south korean navy with 25 super lynx plus more of the wildcat versions on order. That would mean there are agusta westland people that knows how the lynx is operated in asw operations. So it is totally different to what happened for our MKM.

    The issue is a new mh-60r or wildcat costs as much as a single gagah samudra ship… Any other possible options for the asw helicopter requirements?

    Reply
    Not much really apart from Cougar unless we go for second hand Lynx or Seahawks. As I mentioned before 6 second hand Seahawks could be bought for some RM120 million. No idea how much is the annual support costs though it’s usually a quarter of the procurement cost.

  6. Various statement fromour ministers regarding the the chinese fishing boat incursion recently seem 2 indicate that there IS a different views even in the higher ups.its is understandable becoz it is never easy 2 keep your head cool when someone annoyed you the way the chinese a doing.but there is so little we can do about it.

  7. One of the trick is to get new capability using the operational/sustainment budget/piggybank. Either buying used/getting some for free and upgrade them using operational budget or what the police and tudm is doing, leasing.

    Tldm could fund an upgrade for its current lynx to asw spec, while getting some surplus airframes to be upgraded to similar specs. Pakistan navy has 3 carefully kept airframes available, maybe tldm could get those. Those 3 zero timed and upgraded to asw spec, plus 3 more tldm lynx upgraded to asw specs. Giving tldm 9 super lynx to common standard with 6 for asw and 3 for utility missions. Portugal is upgrading their 5 lynx (new engines and avionics) for usd 78million, so probably we could do the same for same amount of money.

  8. While we’re at it, why don’t we utilize EDA to get more stuff for cheap? Anything from second hand blackhawk and seahawk, Cobra attack helicopter, maybe even P-3C orion MPA.

  9. Another 4 malaysian crewman kidnapped near ligitan..presure for the ESSCOM to menjawab. It shows more needed to be done there

    Reply
    Even is more is done over there, there is no way we will be able to fully secure the area there when just five minutes away all sorts of bad things are happening.

  10. Marhalim,
    “there is no way we will be able to fully secure the area”
    No such thing if that is the bar requirement.

  11. 4 malaysians on top of the 10 indonesians they kidnapped this week. Why didn’t esscom go on high alert after what happened to the indonesian barge that also happened near ligitan waters ?

  12. ………….. – ”So it is totally different to what happened for our MKM.”

    It’s not ”totally” different …..

    For one our waters are warmer and have different effects on sonar. Secondly, the countries you mentioned [with the exception of South Korea] don’t have experience on the Wildcat and the sonar offered with the Wildcat.

  13. The unit cost of a MH-60 or a Wildcat is something that can’t be avoided if one desires the capability. Even if we upgrade our Mk300s there is still a need for additional helos. As it stands; there is next to zero chance of the RMN going down the pre-owned route.
    Buying pre-owned [especially helos] is cheaper in the short term but could turn out to be expensive in the long term. One problem with going for pre-owned helos is corrosion issues [from years of operating at sea – the RANs Seahawks are no exception] and the fact that thousands of landings at sea on a rolling and pitching platform over years; can and does result in fuselage damage.

    Reply
    I understand the issues with used helicopters but suggested them as the cost of new ones will most likely cost around RM1 billion. In the current financial environment it’s simply too much I believe.

  14. Is there any info on the upcoming RMN anniversary open day?

    Reply
    None at the moment. I will update once I got the information.

  15. I totally agree that 6 newly built, ASW configured helos will cost an arm and leg [especially in this economic climate] but a more realistic option [rather than pre-owned] is that the RMN will end up getting 2-3, rather than the 6 it has registered a need for. Also, given that the LCS is years away from commissioning, a helo buy doesn’t have to take place soon but in 2-3 years time.

    Reply
    Its better to buy six at one go as the price will usually drops when buying in bigger numbers. They need to order it now so the helicopters will be ready just in time when the ships are ready and more importantly be already operational. Only a small down payment is needed at the moment of signing with most of the payment needed upon delivery.

  16. This is the first time i saw this news and now i had question on the vehicle safety design…how can it fly out from the vechicle?! Even it under go testing, it should have the basic safety belt.

    Jurulatih maut tercampak dari kereta perisai AV8 Gempita

    source from: http://www.kosmo.com.my/kosmo/content.asp?y=2016&dt=0311&pub=Kosmo&sec=Negara&pg=ne_02.htm

    Reply
    If seated on the turret or next to driver, it is likely that the deceased would’ve have been using the seat belt.

  17. Salam .

    Base on your knowledge, what is the best helo for RMN, should we buy more than 6, perhaps 12 ?

    Thanks

    Reply
    Personally I prefer the Seahawks, however the Wildcats have their own merits as well. I actually prefer 12 aircraft. In the end its up to the RMN to decide which helicopter and the numbers that suits its need. In this instance, it will purely be a service’s choice without much interference from outside parties unlike some other programs.

  18. Thank you for the answer.

    Now the next question.

    1. What are the differences between this 2 aircraft. ? MH-60R “Romeo” MH-60S “Sierra,”

    2. Which varient should RMN buy ?

    3. If we can avoid the involvement of “Tunggul Kayu & Elephants in The Room” , How much would it cost to procure 12 ASW Helo ? Your estimation sir, thank you.

    Reply
    The Romeo is ASW configured while the S is more of the utility version. Of course RMN will want the R as they are looking for ASW helicopters. I dont think we will be getting the Romeo however as that is the standard USN version. If we do buy it will be the export version. 12 Seahawks configured for ASW? The USN buys them for around US$42 million. For us add another US$5 million for training and weapons per aircraft. So its easily around US$600 million or around RM2.3 billion.

  19. Michael – ”now i had question on the vehicle safety design…how can it fly”

    Until you know the exact circumstances that led to that person’s death, you shouldn’t form any conclusions. A person’s death is tragic but it shouldn’t automatically lead to any questions on ”the vehicle safety design” of the AV-8 …

    Mohd Wafi – ”should we buy more than 6, perhaps 12 ?”

    We currently have 6 Fennecs and 6 Super Lynxs. All their flight crews, ground crews and support/administrative staff could probably fit in a large bus. There are various places where the RMN forward deploys its aviation assets but it has only one fully fledged air station [which BTW was originally intended to be elsewhere; not Lumut].

    The question should be : even if we could afford it [to buy and operate]; will we in the long term have have the needed ground/support facilities and manpower to operate and support 12 new helos; in addition to the 12 we currently operate? 6 new helos is the minimum number to ensure that ‘x’ is always ready for ops; when others are undergoing routine maintenance, are unserviceable or are not mission ready for whatever reason.

  20. Michael – ”now i had question on the vehicle safety design…how can it fly”

    Until you know the exact circumstances that led to that person’s death, you shouldn’t form any conclusions. A person’s death is tragic but it shouldn’t automatically lead to any questions on ”the vehicle safety design” of the AV-8 …

    Mohd Wafi – ”should we buy more than 6, perhaps 12 ?”

    We currently have 6 Fennecs and 6 Super Lynxs. All their flight crews, ground crews and support/administrative staff could probably fit in a large bus. There are various places where the RMN forward deploys its aviation assets but it has only one fully fledged air station [which BTW was originally intended to be elsewhere; not Lumut].

    The question should be : even if we could afford it [to buy and operate]; will we in the long term have have the needed ground/support facilities and manpower to operate and support 12 new helos; in addition to the 12 we currently operate? 6 new helos is the minimum number to ensure that ‘x’ is always ready for ops; when others are undergoing routine maintenance, are unserviceable or are not mission ready for whatever reason.

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