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Combat Utility Helicopter (Phase 2) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force

To continue the planned replacement of ageing air assets of the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing of the Philippine Air Force, the service again requested for another batch of Combat Utility Helicopters as a follow-on project to the first one made during the pre-RAFPMP era.

The Combat Utility Helicopter Acquisition Project is a Horizon 1 Phase Priority Project under the Revised AFP Modernization Program. 

Due to the limits of the Revised Government Procurement Act under RA 9184, the Department of National Defense (DND) is not allowed to make a follow-on order of the PZL Swidnik W-3A Sokol combat utility helicopters. This prompted the DND to issue another bidding process, which means a possible re-set of technical requirements, as well as a possible winner other than PZL Swidnik.

Earlier complaints on the W-3A Sokol helicopter were also noted, further prompting the Philippine Air Force to revise its requirements which now appears to be outside the W-3A Sokol's performance parameters.

Some of the Bell 412EP Combat Utility Helicopters delivered by Bell Helicopters Textron (Canada),during their formal activation with the PAF's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing.

Project Summary:

Combat Utility Helicopter (Phase 2) Acquisition Project:

Note: Edited as of 29 June 2019.

* End User:
 Philippine Air Force (205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, and 250th Presidential Airlift Wing)
Quantity: 8 aircraft

* Modernization Phase:
 Horizon 1 Phase of RAFPMP

* Project ABC:

Acquisition Mode: Negotiated Procurement (Government-to-Government) with Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC)

* Source of Funding: GAA Funds through AFP Modernization Program Trust Fund, to be paid via Multi-Year Obligation Authority (MYOA) process.

* SARO Release: TBA

* Winning Proponent:
 Bell Helicopter Textron, through Canadian Commercial Corporation

Product for Delivery: Bell 412EP Combat Utility Helicopter (5 nos.) and Bell 412EP VVIP Helicopters (3 nos.)

* Contract Price: Php4,800,000,000.00

* First post by MaxDefense: 
27 March 2014

* MaxDefense Searching Hashtag: #PAFCUHAcquisition #PAFBell412EP #PAFCUHPhase2Acquisition 

Deliver Status: Delivery Completed as of.July 2015, inducted to the PAF's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing and 250th Presidential Airlift Wing on August 2015. PROJECT COMPLETED.

A Bell 412EP of the PAF's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing, as of 2018. Photo taken from and credited to MaxDefense community member and aviation photographer Efrain Noel Morota.


U P D A T E S:

18 November 2013:

As posted on MaxDefense's community social media page:

The PAF confirmed that a new Combat Utility Helicopter procurement project is underway, with DND is discussing with the Canadians and Bell Helicopters. 

MaxDefense believes that the Bell 412EP might be the aircraft of choice. 8 initial units planned for delivery by 2015-2016.


15 December 2013:

A very leading clue to all MaxDefense readers

The full motion flight simulators being acquired by the Philippine Air Force is supposed to is supposed to replicate the flight characteristics of 3 aircraft: the AW109, the C-130H Hercules, and the Bell 412EP...there are only 3 Bell 412EPs in PAF service, which means.......


27 March 2014:

In the latest MaxDefense blog entry dated 27 March 2014, it was announced that the DND will have a Contract Signing ceremony with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) for the Combat Utility Helicopter acquisition project for the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

The event will be held on 28 March 2014, with an agreed contracted cost of Php4.8 billion. CCC will supply eight (8) Bell 412EP combat utility helicopters made by Bell Helicopter Textron of Canada.

The MaxDefense blog entry on this can be accessed on the link provide below:

Acquisition of FA-50 SAA/LIFT and Bell 412 CUH for PAF, 3 Oil Tankers for the PN": - first posted on 27 March 2014

Canada's CH-146 Griffon could be the basis of how the PAF would configure and use their Bell 412EP fleet of combat utility helicopters once they arrive in 2015. Credits to original source of photo.


28 May 2015:

As posted on MaxDefense's community social media page:

The first 2 of 8 new Bell 412EP helicopters for the Philippine Air Force has arrived, and will be undergoing assembly and testing afterwards. These would be 2 of the 3 that will be in VIP configuration and will assigned with the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing for use on the upcoming APEC 2015 summit in November 2015. 

Photos taken from Philippine Plane Spotters Group (PPSG).

The first two Bell 412EP for the PAF. Photos credited to PPSG.


27 June 2015:

As posted on MaxDefense's community social media page:

Another batch of 2 brand new Bell 412EP combat utility helicopters, this time in olive drab, were delivered this week. These helicopters are destined for the Philippine Air Force's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing. 

The photos below, shared by one of our readers who wish to remain anonymous, were taken at NAIA during assembly. 4 down, 4 to go. 

Photos shared to MaxDefense by a community member.


14 August 2015:

As posted on MaxDefense's community social media page:

8 Bell 412EP combat utility and VIP helicopters, and 2 AgustaWestland AW-109E Power armed helicopters will be commissioned to the Philippine Air Force on August 17, 2015. More on the news from PNA below, which was posted in full. 

Photo of the helicopters screen-grabbed from ANC News.

New acquisitions including the Bell 412EP and AgustaWestland AW109E.


17 August 2015:

The eight (8) Bell 412EP ordered by the Department of National Defense (DND) from the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) and Bell Helicopter Textron were turned-over to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) in ceremonies held today.

The ceremonies were held together with the turn-over of two (2) AgustaWestland AW109E Power light armed helicopters to the PAF.

All photos credited to the original sources.


17 August 2015:

As posted on MaxDefense's community social media page:

The news report below from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) confirms earlier reports that the 3 new Bell 412EP in blue and white VIP colors of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing that were commissioned today, will be reconfigured to combat utility helicopter and reassigned to the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing after the APEC Summit this coming November.

Posting the entire article from PNA as they normally remove the report after 1 day. Photo owned and captured by Shuuichi Hikoushi of the Philippine Planespotters Group.

# # # # # # # # # #

8 brand-new Bell-412EPs, 2 attack AW-109E turned over to PAF Monday

MANILA, Aug. 17 (PNA) -- Eight brand-new Bell-412EPs combat utility helicopters and two attack versions of the AgustaWestland AW-109Es were formally turned over to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Monday morning.

The joint formal acceptance and blessing ceremonies took place at Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.

PAF spokesperson Col. Enrico Canaya said the delivery and acceptance of the eight Bell-412EPs completes the "Combat Utility Helicopter Aircraft Acquisition Project" under the PAF modernization amounting to Php4.8 billion negotiated with the Bell Textron Helicopter of Canada who started their delivery by batch last June.

Five of the Bell-412EPs will be assigned to the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing (THW) while three Bell-412EPs will be assigned to the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing with a blue-white paint scheme and configured similar to their existing Bell-412s to be used for the transport of VIPs in the upcoming APEC Summit.

Eventually, the three Bell-412EPs of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing will be transferred to 205th THW after the APEC summit.

With its four-bladed main rotor and twin-engine design and night capability, it provides better performance and better capability for the PAF in providing heli-lift operations for combat support and in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations.

On the other hand, the two Augusta Westland AW-109Es are the first batch to be turned over to the Air Force while six more will follow to complete the PAF’s eight "Attack Helicopter Aircraft Acquisition Project".

The night capable AW-109Es will be assigned to the 15th Strike Wing and will perform the role similar to their existing MD-520MG in conducting closed-air support, armed air reconnaissance, forward air control and armed escort.

The AW-109Es are armed with .50 caliber machine gun pods and rocket launchers.

It was supplied by AugustaWestland of Italy after winning a public bidding with contract price of Php3.4 billion for the eight AW-109Es.

It is the same aircraft platform acquired by the Philippine Navy (PN) with a slightly different equipment package.

Having similar aircraft with the PN is advantageous since it allows commonality in operation, training and maintenance procedures, Canaya said.

He added the PAF is still waiting for the arrival of the remaining six AW-109Es, two C-295M medium-lift aircraft from Spain, two CN-212i light-lift aircraft from Indonesia and two FA-50 lead-in fighter aircraft from South Korea which are all expected before the year ends. (PNA)


One of the new Bell 412EP configured to VVIP transport, and are planned to be reverted back to combat utility role after the APEC 2015 summit. Credits to original source of the photo.


January 2016:

The DND Annual Report for 2015 reports the completion of the Combat Utility Helicopter acquisition project.


With the Bell 412EP combat utility and VIP helicopters already delivered and formally inducted with the Philippine Air Force as of August 2015, MaxDefense and Philippine Defense Resource officially consider the Combat Utility Helicopter (Phase 2) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force as COMPLETED.

x x x x x x x x x x x 
First edit and release: 28 May 2019
Copyright Philippine Defense Resource / MaxDefense Philippines

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