There is a huge possibility that the Philippine Navy (PN)’s five brand-new AgustaWestland AW-109 “Power” naval helicopters will be deployed to provide additional security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Metro Manila next week.
The five aircraft are ideal for security work as they are all equipped with NVG (night vision gear) equipment which allows their pilots to see possible threats in nighttime.
NVG is an optical instrument that allows images to be produced in levels of light approaching total darkness.
Aside from this, the AW-109E are also fitted with FLIR (forward looking infra-red) pods.
FLIR uses an imaging technology that senses infrared radiation.
The sensors installed in forward-looking infrared cameras—as well as those of other thermal imaging cameras—use detection of infrared radiation, typically emitted from a heat source (thermal radiation), to create a “picture” assembled for video output, giving idea to operating forces on exact threat composition and location.
The AW-109Es were first used for nighttime patrol during the visit of Pope Francis last Jan. 15 to 19.
Besides this sensing equipment which is capable of seeing targets in the dark, two of the AW-109Es are armed with machinegun and rocket pods giving them the capability to neutralize hostile targets instantly.