Philippines in talks for US Chinooks after scrapping Russian helicopter deal

The Philippines is looking at buying heavy-lift Chinook helicopters from the United States after scrapping a deal for Russian military helicopters.  

The country’s former defense secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on July 27, 2022 that the Philippines had permanently dropped the $227 million deal to acquire 16 Russian military helicopters over possible US sanctions due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.   

In a briefing reported by Reuters on August 15, 2022, Manila's ambassador to Washington said that the US was willing to do a deal for the same amount that the Philippines was due to spend on the Russian contract. 

"This cancellation of this contract is precipitated mainly by the war in Ukraine. While there are sanctions expected to come our way, from the United States and western countries, obviously it is not in our interest to continue and pursue this contract," Jose Manuel Romualdez was quoted as saying by Reuters. 

The Philippines is now negotiating with Russia on recovering a $38 million down payment for the 16 helicopters, he said.  

Any deal with the US would probably include maintenance, service and parts, the ambassador said.    

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