PAF gets new Jordan-donated ‘Cobra’ attack helicopter

One of the Philippine Air Force’s (PAF) two Bell AH-1S ‘Cobra’ attack helicopters arrived at the 15th Strike Wing headquarters at the Major Danilo Atienza Air Base (MDAAB) at Sangley Point, Cavite City on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

Brig. Gen. Aristotle Gonzalez, commander of the 15th Strike Wing, and other ranking officers of the unit welcomed the aircraft and its crew.

In a Facebook post on Friday, the 15th Strike Wing said, “The AH-1S ‘Cobra’ piloted by Major Reese James A. Obeso, PAF, Squadron Commander, 20th Attack Squadron, and Capt. Wilmore Kristus A. Tanamor took off from Clark Air Base and performed low passes before making their first touchdown at MDAAB.”

“After which, the aircraft was rendered the traditional water cannon salute and was blessed by Father Salcedo Galvan. It was then followed by the ceremonial champagne pouring to mark both the joy and sanctity of the occasion,” it added.

Gonzalez stated that the aircraft’s arrival is a first for the 15th Strike Wing, since it is the first time they have publicly welcomed a “dedicated attack helicopter.” He also expressed gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly to completely operationalize the chopper and expedite its homecoming.

“This platform will complement the MD-520MG of the 20th Attack Squadron and hopefully, be successfully employed and deliver support to other AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) units,” Gonzalez said.

The Jordanian government donated two Bell AH-1S ‘Cobra’ attack helicopters in 2018. The Bell AH-1 ‘Cobra’ is a two-blade, single-engine attack helicopter manufactured by Bell Helicopter. It was developed using the Bell UH-1 Iroquois’ engine, transmission, and rotor system. The AH-1, a member of the prolific Huey family, is also known as the ‘Huey Cobra’ or ‘Snake.’

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