Canada signs $105 mln Bell helicopter deal with Philippines

Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon and Philippine Air Force UH-1H helicopters transporting relief goods in Central Philippines after typhoon Haiyan struck the country.                            Image courtesy DART

3 April 2013

Canada has signed a $105 million contract with the Philippines to supply eight brand new 412EP choppers made by Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, a unit of Textron Inc.

The contract was negotiated under a memorandum of understanding between the Philippines Ministry of Defence and the government of Canada, through Ottawa's government-to-government contracting organization, the Canadian Commercial Corp.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that memorandum among other confidential agreements during his visit to Manila in November 2012. The choppers are to be made in Quebec over the next two years. Options for second-trance order is unspecified.

The first of the Bell 412 helicopters are to be delivered next year and to be completed in 2016, said Philippines Defence Undersecretary Fernando Manalo.

Manalo said three of the helicopters will be configured for civilian use while the remaining five 412CF's shall be used by the Philippine Air Force for  “combat utility” duties. He did not comment on the second tranche orders.

“We are looking forward to the delivery of the first three aircraft in time for the Philippines to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in 2015.” says Manalo

The Bell 412 helicopter variant went into action in Central Philippine Island of Iloilo when Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) brought four pairs to showcase it to the Philippine government at the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan a year later after signing of Confidential Agreement with Canada.

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