The Department of National Defense plans to spend some P1.264 billion in acquiring “refurbished” UH-1 helicopters for the Air Force.

The sum will be used to acquire 13 units of UH-1 and eight units of upgraded UH-1 with the corresponding “integrated logistics support” package, the DND said in a bid announcement on its website.

“The guiding principles for this project shall be based on affordability and sustainability while conforming to the requirements of our Air Force in furtherance of accomplishing its mission,” defense undersecretary for finance, munitions, installations, and materiel Fernando Manalo said in the announcement.

Manalo, who chairs the special bids and awards committee overseeing the project, said they will hold a pre-bid conference on Nov. 6.

Companies interested in the project may submit their bids until Nov. 20 and are expected to deliver the goods 45 days from opening the contract, he said.

The UH-1, developed by Bell helicopter in 1952, first flew in 1956 and was mass-produced in the 60s.

While many of the 16,000 units rolled out saw action in the Vietnam War and are now on display, some are still being used in operations around the world. (John Roson)

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