15-Feb-2023 Source: Philippine News Agency
The Philippine Navy (PN)’s Anti-Submarine Helicopter Squadron 42 conducted a series of lectures connections in connection with shipboard helicopter operations for the crew of missile frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) to ensure the seamless integration of the two units in anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations.
“As part of the integration process of AgustaWestland AW-159 ‘Wildcat’ to Jose Rizal class frigates, rotary pilots and aircrew under Anti-Submarine Helicopter Squadron 42 of the Naval Air Wing conducted a series of lectures in connection with shipboard helicopter operations last 31 January 2023 aboard BRP Antonio Luna,” the ship said in a Facebook post on Monday.
Lecturers also stressed that the ship’s flight operation facilities must be certified before undertaking helicopter operations.
They also added that flight quarters and aircrew personnel must be qualified and proficient in the procedures for safe operation.
Aside from the crew of BRP Antonio Luna, personnel from sister ship BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) were also in attendance as part of their education pertaining to flight operation activities.
“For both the air and surface assets of the Philippine Fleet, this training workshop is crucial to put a common understanding of the necessary planning and coordination of anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations that will further improve the detection and engagement capabilities of both units,” BRP Antonio Luna’s post said.
Also in attendance are the crew from BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and BRP Conrado Yap (PS-39) who also devoted their time to gain new knowledge pertaining to flight operation activities.
The PN’s two AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters were delivered on May 7, 2019, and commissioned on June 17 of the same year.
The aircraft were acquired for PHP5.4 billion including its munition, mission essential equipment, and integrated logistic support.
They can also be armed with rockets, machine guns, missiles, torpedoes, and depth charges and fitted with modern sonar systems for tracking down submarines.
The AW-159s were acquired to complement the Jose Rizal-class frigates’ ASW capabilities.