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2 firms join bidding for 21 PAF helicopters

MANILA, Philippines - Two firms joined yesterday’s bidding for the acquisition of 21 UH-1H helicopters for the Philippine Air Force.

They are the Israel-based Radom Aviation Systems Ltd. and the US-based Rice Aircraft Services Inc.

A total of seven firms purchased bid documents from the Department of National Defense, but only Radom and Rice submitted offers.

The five firms that bought bid documents but did not join the bidding were Serpenair Group Inc./Bell helicopter, ST Aerospace Engineering PTE. Ltd, Stone of David Tactical Equipment Co., Overseas Aircraft Support Inc., and Aerospace Engineering Group.

Defense officials postponed the opening of bids scheduled yesterday.

Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said he believes the government can still acquire the UH-1 helicopters in time for the elections.

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The defense department wants the helicopters delivered on or before March 31.

The government has allocated P1.26 billion for the purchase of the helicopters and the integrated logistics support package.

The Air Force made the request for additional Hueys in 2011.

It only has 16 mission-capable Hueys, 51 units short of the ideal number of operational combat utility helicopters.

The defense department first held a bidding for the helicopters last December.

However, it was declared a failure after bidders fell short of some requirements.


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