The PN took delivery of the pair of helicopters in May 2019. They will serve with the PN’s Naval Air Wing Squadron MH-40 at the Danielo Atienza Air Base.
Leonardo’s AW159 Wildcat platform was selected in 2016 by the Philippines under the US$101 million Anti-Submarine Helicopter Acquisition Project.
The helicopters are intended mainly for basing on the two future José Rizal-class frigates being built in South Korea by Hyundai Heavy Industries Corporation. The first frigate was launched on May 23, 2019.
The Philippines became the second export customer for the AW159 helicopters after South Korea, which received eight helicopters under a contract worth US$560 million. Two AW159 Wildcat helicopters in anti-submarine variant have also been ordered by the Bangladesh Navy.
The Philippine Navy previously purchased five AW109 light helicopters, which were delivered between 2013 and 2015.