Philippine Defense Minister Delfin Lorenzana recently said the attack helicopters being offered by the two US companies was far ahead of the Philippine government’s budget.
Lorenzana said the Philippines had earmarked only 13 billion pesos (more than $ 258 million) for the armed forces’ project to buy attack helicopters. If spend this money to buy US attack helicopters, the Philippines can only buy one or two, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer on May 14, 2020. This is why the Philippines Army is looking to buy attack helicopters from other countries with lower prices to buy more, according to Minister Lorenzana.
Earlier, the U.S. State Department had approved the possibility of selling to the Philippines six Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters manufactured by Bell Helicopter Company, and six AH-64E Apache aircraft from Boeing. The US Defense Security Agency said the sale of six Vipers and related equipment cost up to $ 450 million while the Apache AH-64E package cost up to $ 1.5 billion. These two sales packages have not been finalized, can be adjusted according to the requirements of the Philippines.
The two types of attack helicopters are offered to the Philippines, although the Philippine Air Force has chosen T129 ATAK attack helicopters of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).
Philippines is planning to buy 6 T129 ATAKs. TAI is still trying to obtain export licenses from the US for the subsystems, to overcome the sanctions imposed by Washington on Ankara after Turkey purchased Russian weapons, according to Philippine Daily Inquirer.
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