The Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced that it had received two units of the Turkish-made T129 “ATAK” attack helicopters at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga, Philippines, last March 8. The two choppers were part of an order of six units in a government-to-government deal with Turkey signed last July 2020.

“The PAF welcomes the arrival of two units of T129 ‘ATAK’ helicopters onboard the (Airbus) A-400M from Turkey at 30 minutes past midnight at Clark Air Base, Mabalacat City, Pampanga,” said Philippine Air Force Spokesperson Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano.

T-129 ATAK helicopter flown by the Philippine Air Force (GMA News). Source:
T-129 ATAK helicopter flown by the Philippine Air Force (Philippine Air Force/GMA News Facebook)

In an exclusive statement to the Philippine News Agency, Mariano disclosed that one of the A-400Ms Turkish Air Force cargo carriers contained two ATAK helicopters. The other aircraft brought the “initial logistics requirement” for the two units. He also mentioned that the new choppers are bound for technical inspection and flight tests before they can be accepted to the PAF and start service.

“It will undergo inspection, it will undergo acceptance (test), test flights before the acceptance ceremonies can be done, and it will go through a lot of orientation in (the) country, together with the pilots and the crew,” said Mariano, who believes that the helicopters will be commissioned in one to two months.