The Philippines will buy 16 Black Hawk helicopters from the Sikorsky Aircraft Corp for $240 million, shunning cheaper Russian equipment due to U.S. sanctions on Russian military exports, the Philippine defense chief said on Friday.
The Philippines had initially agreed to buy 16 Bell 412 helicopters from Canada but the deal was scrapped in February after Canada expressed concern they could be used to fight rebels.
The Philippines then considered several other helicopters including Sikorsky Aircraft's S-70 Black Hawk, Russia's Mi-171, South Korea's Surion and Agusta Westland's AW139.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the air force would sign a contract early next year for the 16 Black Hawks, even though the Russians offered the second lowest price.
"But it is very difficult to pay them because of the U.S. sanctions," Lorenzana told reporters at a security forum. (end of excerpt)
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