Wednesday August 09, 2006
Official PAF Photo. Note the 2.75 inch
rocket pod with seven round on the ground beside the helicopter. Blue
warhead is a smoke/target marker rocket. You can barely make out what would be
the 7.62 M60C mg sticking over the rocket pod.
Overhauled 2005. PAF AUH-76A gunship shown
below after overhaul. The PAF has reached an agreement with the Philippine
Department of Energy. The PAF will task specific assets including AUH-76A
#206 below to Malampaya Natural Gas region security operations in exchange for
funding for operations and overhauls. Because the Sikorskys are the only
PAF helos with the capability to safely operate in the area, look to more S-76s
PAF Official Photo shows a PAF S-76 armed with a
50 cal gun pod. Aircraft carries a seven round 2.75 in rocket pod on the
right side as well as two M60D 7.62mm
machine guns. The M60D door guns are a PAF modification to address the
vulnerability of the AUH-76 (or any helo for that matter) to ground fire coming
from the flanks. Despite its shortcomings, the AUH-76A is a beautiful high
performance aircraft. Too bad the PAF could not find the funds to upgrade
them to the Plus standard.
Photo below is a picture of an S-76 with a rescue
hoist. It does not have the armament mounting system (basically a large
heavy metal tube running through the troop compartment behind the pilots and sticking
out the side on which the rockets pods or gunpods are mounted). The two
PAF SAR machines were converted to the gunship configuration sometime in the
late eighties though they were again later reconverted back to the SAR model.
SAR Model S-76s. Taken during a recent
Search and Rescue Exercise in 2004. The S-76 pictured below was originally
delivered and tasked as a gunship.
Rescue configured S-76s can be identified by the rescue winch on the right side.
Instead of the winch, rescue conversions carried a flexible metal ladder.
Not exactly the best way to rescue exhausted swimmers in the water.
Another way to identify rescue conversions is to look at the door. The
aircraft below shows a notch on the door where the multipurpose armament mount
went through the door (see bottom photo showing the PAF pararescueman).
Photo courtesy of Eric Alvia. With Thanks.