The Philippine air force has taken delivery of two Turkish Aerospace (TAI) T129 ATAK attack helicopters.
The two rotorcraft were delivered to the country’s Clark air base, according to official Filipino social media sites.
The two rotorcraft – the first pair of six on order – were delivered aboard an Airbus Defence & Space A400M tactical transport of the Turkish air force.
According to a Philippine News Agency report, quoting an air force spokesman, a second A400M carried logistics equipment for the two aircraft.
The helicopters will undergo inspections and acceptance flights before being commissioned in the next few months.
The T129 is based on the Agusta 129 Mangusta. According to TAI it has a modern electronic warfare system, and can carry a range of missiles and rockets, including the airborne version of the Raytheon FIM-92 Stinger man-portable air defence system. In addition, the ATAK is equipped with a 20mm cannon with a magazine capacity of 500 rounds.
Cirium fleets data indicates that the Philippines will be the first operator of the T129 outside of Turkey, where 108 examples are listed in service for various Turkish government operators, namely the army with 55 and air force with 36.
Pakistan had an order for 30 examples, but the status of this deal is unclear owing to US export restrictions – the T129 is powered by US-built LHTEC T800 engines.
Media reports in early 2022 suggested that the Pakistan deal has been cancelled.