"The units that have been accepted comply with the technical specifications and operational concept set by the PAF, hence they are mission capable," PAF spokesperson Lt. Col. Enrico Canaya said during Thursday's briefing in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.
Seven of the UH-IDs, out of the 21, ordered from Rice Aircraft Services, Inc., are now undergoing service at the PAF.
Canaya also said the "D" designation in the UH-1 means that it was manufactured by Dornier, a German aircraft manufacturer which started construction of the UH-1 during 1967 to 1981.
Around 350 units were built by the German aircraft manufacturer.
Another one is now undergoing acceptance testing while six others are undergoing flight test and the remaining are now in various stages of assembly.
The contract for 21 refurbished UH-1 combat utility helicopters is worth Php1.26-billion. It was signed during the last quarter of 2013.
Canaya said all seven UH-IDs are deployed to Central Luzon and Manila PAF units.
"The PAF, however, opted to deploy these newly turned over units to Central Luzon and Manila areas for endurance flights, training and other missions to make it accessible to technical representatives and take advantage of warranty claims," he added.
The PAF spokesperson also clarified that the UH-1Ds and UH-IHs, still in Philippine service are similar models but made by different manufacturers.
"Their airframes are old but once they are refurbished, they are reliable to perform missions. The PAF has a wealth of experience operating and maintaining UH-1 helicopters since the 1970s," he added.
Canaya also dismissed reports that UH-1D spare parts are no longer available in the market.
"Their parts are not obsolete and available in the market just like the parts for the existing fleets of UH-1Hs the PAF is currently maintaining. The UH-1H helicopters are still widely used in other countries," he added.
Canaya also added that the PAF does not accept aircraft with technical issues.
"The PAF only receives and operates units that passed the Technical Inspection And Acceptance Committee," he concluded.
The PAF spokesperson stated that the newly arrived UH-IDs are more superior to the UH-1Hs as it features composite main rotor blades which have a better performance and safety feature that the latter aircraft.
"Eight of the UH-1Ds have more powerful engines similar to the PAF rescue helicopter, the Bell 205, which has a better lifting capacity, the UH-IDs had structural improvements compared to the honey-combed components of the UH-1H and many others," Canaya pointed out.
According to one of our Huey test pilots Capt. Bry Dofie PAF, Four (4) upgraded UH1Ds and two regular hueys were formally accepted yesterday. (c) Pinoy Aviators