The Philippine Army (PA) has received a helicopter donation during a ceremony at the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) headquarters in Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) Bo 105 multi-purpose rotorcraft helicopter has been handed over to PA’s Aviation “Hiraya” Regiment, which was activated on 5 July 2019.

The unit was donated by business tycoon Manny V Pangilinan through the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Foundation.

The aircraft will be used to support Army Aviation Regiment’s ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief’ efforts.

It will also be used for air ambulance capability, reconnaissance operation, as well as maritime patrols over its ‘area of responsibility’.

The multi-purpose helicopter will also act as an ‘interim helicopter’ to train Army aviators and enhance Philippine Army’s (PA) overall capabilities to locate, fix and finish enemies of the state.

PA spokesperson colonel Ramon Zagala was quoted by the Philippine News Agency (Pna) as saying: “The PA is grateful for Manny V Pangilinan’s donation of the said helicopter that will serve as a catalyst for developing army’s future rotary aviation and a springboard to improve the capacity of army aviation in supporting government agencies in the face of disasters and calamities in the country.

“The PA is pushing for additional mission-essential equipment to develop the ‘Hiraya’ Regiment’s capability of supporting combined operations through the acquisition of armed reconnaissance helicopters, medium-lift multi-purpose helicopters, and special mission aircraft.

“In addition to its acquisition projects, the Regiment offers training under the Aviator Qualification Course and the Rotary Wing Transition Course to develop the capabilities of its aviation personnel.”