Relations between Jordan and the Philippines continue to develop during the Duterte administration. The Department of Defense (DND) announced that two Jordan helicopters from their government arrived in the country last Tuesday.
The two Bell AH-1S Cobra helicopters arrived at the PAF headquarters in the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
“These new assets, which are equipped with guns and rockets, will immensely help our troops on the ground and enhance the overall capability of the Philippine Air Force,” said Arsenio Andolong, DND spokesperson.
These new Jordan helicopters will be utilized primarily for close air support for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). These will greatly augment their internal security and counter-terrorism operations throughout the country.
The DND explains that four Philippine Air Force pilots have already trained in Jordan to operate these new attack helicopters. Two of the pilots have also undergone training to become test and instructor pilots for the new copters.
“There is no problem with interoperability of the Cobra since our pilots are familiar and sufficiently trained to operate the Cobra’s systems,” said Andolong.
Once test and inspections have been completed, the Jordan helicopters will be formally received by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Jordan began in 1976. Before this latest development, the relationship has remained largely underdeveloped, including partnership on matters of national defense.
Relations vastly improved during President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Jordan last year. The potential for collaboration was rekindled due to the shared threat of terrorism for both countries. The DND and Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army signed a new memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation.
Among the developments that emerged during the visit was the Jordanian government’s provision of these two Bell AH-1S Cobra helicopters. The capabilities of the Philippine Air Force to maintain national defense is expected to be bolstered greatly with the arrival of these Jordan helicopters.