The Philippines has scrapped a multimillion-dollar deal with Russia to acquire Mil Mi-17 heavy-lift helicopters.
A source in the Philippine Air Force (PAF) confirmed the cancellation to Global Defense Corp and added that the Technical Working Group of the project is now considering other platforms with similar capabilities for acquisition.
The cancellation of the order has interrupted Manila’s ability to close a long-standing requirement of the country for heavy-lift utility helicopters. According to the PAF source, the Mi-17s would primarily have been used for high-cargo operations involving troops and equipment. The Philippines military had also planned to use the helicopters for High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR).
Philippines defense minister Jose Faustino Jr. said in a statement to Global Defense Corp that the international sanctions would impact Russia’s ability to execute the order and deliver the helicopter on time.
The cancellation comes just months after the former Philippines Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana acknowledged on 10 March that a deal had been signed with Moscow in November 2021. The deal was among a handful of major military purchases approved by former Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte before his departure from office in June 2022.
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