Philippine Navy Boosts Anti-Submarine Capabilities with Weapon System Integration

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The Philippine Navy (PN) has taken a significant step in boosting its external defense capability by fitting a new weapons system to its anti-submarine warfare helicopters. The addition of a .50 caliber heavy machine gun to the AW 159 anti-submarine helicopter will greatly enhance the country’s maritime air assets and strengthen the firepower of the Jose Rizal Class Anti-submarine frigate.

Commander John Percie Alcos, the Navy Public Affairs Chief, announced that the machine gun underwent a successful test firing at the Marine Base Gregorio Lim firing range in Ternate, Cavite on Monday. This test-firing was conducted under the close scrutiny of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee, led by Western Command Chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos.

The acquisition of the AW159 Wildcat Helicopter, a British multi-role military helicopter developed by Leonardo UK, is a crucial capability upgrade for the Philippine Navy. By equipping these helicopters with the .50 caliber heavy machine gun, the Navy aims to enhance its anti-submarine and maritime security operations capabilities.

“The inclusion of the .50 caliber heavy machine gun further enhances the aircraft’s mission capabilities, providing the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with a potent weapon system to combat potential threats in the maritime domain,” stated Commander Alcos. This addition will significantly strengthen the AFP’s ability to protect Philippine waters and safeguard national interests.

The test-firing event was attended by officials from various organizations involved in the procurement and implementation of this upgrade. Representatives from the Procurement System Office of the Department of National Defense, the Naval Air Wing Commander Commodore Juario Marayag, and project proponents from Leonardo United Kingdom were present to witness the successful demonstration of the helicopter’s enhanced firepower.

The Philippine Navy recognizes the importance of continually upgrading its capabilities to ensure the country’s external defense. By investing in modern and advanced equipment like the AW159 anti-submarine helicopter with the .50 caliber heavy machine gun, the Navy is better prepared to respond to potential threats in the maritime domain.

This upgrade not only enhances the Navy’s anti-submarine warfare capabilities but also strengthens its overall maritime security operations. The AW159 helicopter, with its new weapons system, will play a crucial role in protecting Philippine waters and maintaining peace and stability in the region.

As the Philippine Navy continues to modernize and enhance its capabilities, it remains committed to upholding international laws and regulations. The Navy’s efforts are in line with the country’s commitment to promoting peace, stability, and cooperation in the region.

In conclusion, the fitting of a .50 caliber heavy machine gun to the AW 159 anti-submarine helicopter is a significant development for the Philippine Navy. This upgrade strengthens the Navy’s external defense capability, enhances its anti-submarine warfare capabilities, and improves overall maritime security operations. By investing in modern equipment, the Navy is better prepared to protect Philippine waters and contribute to regional peace and stability.

Source: The Manila Times

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