The Philippine air force has inducted its first four PZL Swidnik W-3A Sokol utility helicopters, which will be used to transport troops and for other roles. The aircraft were officially handed over during a ceremony at Clark air base, said PZL Swidnik in a statement.

The four aircraft are the first instalment of an order for eight Sokols that was placed in 2010.

The cockpits of the Philippine air force's Sokols are compatible with night vision goggles, said AgustaWestland. PZL Swidnik is a unit of AgustaWestland.

The six-tonne helicopters can carry 11 troops internally or lift up to 2,100kg (4,630lb) using an external cargo hook. They can also be armed with a M60D light machine gun on each side of the cabin.

In late February, the four helicopters were flown from Poland to the Philippines aboard a chartered Antonov An-124.

Source: Flight International