Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered to call off an approximately $234m deal to acquire 16 Bell 412EPI helicopters for the Philippine Air Force.
The Philippine News Agency reported that the Department of National Defense (DND) has issued a notice to terminate the contract with Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).
The contract cancellation follows after Canada ordered for a review of the deal based on reports that the aircraft might be used to fight the rebel forces.
In a statement, Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that the Bell helicopters will primarily be used for the transportation of personnel and supplies, ferrying wounded and injured soldiers, and the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations.
Lorenzana also said that the utility helicopters ‘are not attack or close support aircraft’ and could be deployed in support of Internal Security Operations.
Prior to issuing the letter for the cancellation, Lorenzana stated: “Should the Canadian Government choose to discontinue their sale of the aircraft to us, then we will procure them from another source.”
The helicopters were being bought by the country’s defence department through a government-to-government contract signed on 29 December with the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC).
The Bell 412EPI helicopters were to being constructed at the company facility Mirabel, Québec, Canada, and were slated to be delivered to the AFP between the first quarter of next year and 2020.
In 2014, the country purchased eight Bell 412 helicopters from the company.