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Philippines ponders SAR helicopters, and Chinooks instead of Mi-171s

25th August 2022 - 05:16 GMT | by Gordon Arthur in Christchurch

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The Philippine Air Force assigned its W-3A Sokols to the 505th Search and Rescue Group when it discovered they were ill-suited to combat utility tasks. (Photo: Gordon Arthur)

In some areas, the rotary-winged fleet of the Philippine military has progressed, but in others, it has stagnated or even reversed.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has reneged on a deal with Russia for new Mi-171 medium-lift helicopters, but it still has requirements for both heavy-lift and search-and-rescue helicopters.

The PAF’s 505th Search and Rescue Group currently operates six W-3A Sokols and a solitary S-70A-5 in the SAR role, but these numbers are insufficient to provide national coverage.

The retirement of the air force’s UH-1 fleet, which encompassed three Bell 205A-1s of the 505th Search and Rescue Group, means that aircraft need to be replaced. The helicopters are used for civilian search and rescue, but such a capability has long been

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Gordon Arthur

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Gordon Arthur


Gordon Arthur is the Asia Pacific editor for Shephard Media. Born in Scotland and educated …

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