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Philippine Air Force Acquires 8 Attack SOKOL Helicopters
« on: March 28, 2012, 11:02:40 AM »
CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga ,Philippines  – The Philippine Air Force (PAF) launched here yesterday its first four Polish helicopters, each costing P700 million, which look like the vintage US-made Hueys but are reputed to be “much better.”

Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Miguel Ernesto Okol said the four W-3A Sokol helicopters comprise the first batch of eight choppers, costing a total of P2.8 billion, for operation this year under the military’s modernization program.

The last four helicopters would be in operation by November this year, he said.

The Sokol has been described as a combat-utility helicopter. The first four were turned over yesterday to the 205th Tactical Operations Wing.

Okol said the four Sokol helicopters, whose blessing here yesterday was led by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, arrived last month via the giant Russian cargo plane AN-126 and were fitted with their rotor blades.

“The helicopter looks like a Huey but it is much better than our Hueys because they have two engines, have better lift capacity, can carry more passengers, and have more depth in terms of range,” Okol said.

The Sokol helicopters were the first to be fully designed by the Polish firm PZL-Swidnik, in cooperation with the Italian manufacturer Augusta Westland Co., and have certifications from the European Safety Agency and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Okol said the Sokol helicopter allows “quick aircraft configuration” to adapt to various missions such as transport of troops and cargo. It could also be transformed to suit emergency medical missions, evacuations and search and rescue operations.

A Sokol helicopter can accommodate two pilots, two crew personnel, and nine passengers.

Converted for rescue mission, it has enough space for two pilots, two crewmen, three medical attendants and six rescued survivors, while as air borne ambulance, it can accommodate four medical stretchers and medical attendant apart from the pilots and crewmen, Okol noted.

The Sokol is 48.8 feet long and 16.10 feet tall, with a speed of 260 kilometers per hour capable of traveling non-stop for 4.3 hours on standard fuel tank or 6.7 hours with auxiliary tanks.

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Lorenzo

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Re: Philippine Air Force Acquires 8 Attack SOKOL Helicopters
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 11:06:43 AM »
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Lorenzo

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Re: Philippine Air Force Acquires 8 Attack SOKOL Helicopters
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 11:07:55 AM »
A much needed update for the Philippine Air Force !



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