Russia, Japan Play Role In Philippine 'Helicopter Wars'

Russia, Japan Play Role In Philippine 'Helicopter Wars'
AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

During the Cold War, Soviet aircraft were a top concern for the Philippine Air Force until 1990. That's when Moscow decided to redeploy its MIG-23 fighters and TU-16 bombers which until that time had been stationed at Vietnam's Cam Ranh Bay.

Today, Russian aircraft could become part of the Philippine Air Force. The mainstay of Philippine rotary-wing airlift at present is the UH-1H “Huey” helicopter. Many date to the Vietnam War (most were mothballed in the U.S. before transfer to the Philippines). Manilla is looking for a generational replacement for an aerial workhorse which has served them for decades. Japan, Russia, the United States, Poland, Canada and Turkey have all played, or wish to play, a role in this unfolding procurement drama.

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