S P E C I A L - M I S S I O N S

Lockheed RT-33 (Reconnaissance)

The Reconnaissance version of the T-33 T-Bird is simply designated as the RT-33 with R for Reconnaissance. This version was mainly produced for Military Assistance Program (MAP). Its basic air frame and power plant remains the same to that of the T-33 Trainer but it differs in various aspects. Cockpits have been enlarged only to accomodate a pilot. The rear seat given up for the electronic and recording equipment and an additional fuel tank. It is fitted with a three-bay camera nose for it's assigned duty - tactical reconnaissance. The type operates under the 105th Combat Crew Training Squadron based in Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

Fokker F-27MPA (Maritime Patrol)

It was in 1975 when the Fokker Company completed the maritime version of the F-27 and subsequently went on to serve to 7 air forces including the Philippines. It was intended for all forms of coastal surveillance, SAR, environmental control and Maritime Patrol. It uses the Litton APS-504 S.R.search radar or simply called the "belly blister" for tracking its targets. It is also equipped with a Bendix weather radar installed in the nose, has a comprehensive navigational system, bulge observation windows from the flight deck to the rear cabin, a crew of 6 with fully equipped tactical compartments and crew rest area for its 12-hour patrol duration. It has a speed of 287 mph at 20,000 feet and a range of 3,107 miles with a 30 minute reserve fuel tank. The Philippine Air Force operates 3 such aircraft supplied in 1981 under the command of the 27th Maritime Patrol Squadron of the 240th Composite Wing based in Sangley Air Base in Cavite.

Sikorsky UH-60A Blackhawk
The US Army's need for a Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS)led in 1972 the design of the S-70 in which the first prototype flew in 1974.The UH-60A was one of the 3 variants and called the Blackhawk. It was intended as a combat assault helicopter carrying 11 troops and a crew of 3. It is also suitable for Medevac, reconnaissance, re-supply and cargo hauling roles. It can also be carried aboard a C-130 Hercules. The helicopter has good battlefield survivability with main rotor blades tolerant to 23mm cannon fire, its transmission system able to function for 30 minutes after complete oil loss, twin turbines, armoured seats for pilots and a crashworthy bullet proof fuel cells. It has a speed of 296 mph and a range of 1,380 miles.

Despite of its combat and battlefield advantage, the Philippine Air Force which purchase 2 uses the the Blackhawk one for Search and Rescue and the other as a presidential and VIP transport under the 252nd Helicopter Squadron wearing the smart colours of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing.

Aerospatiale/Westland SA.330 Puma

The largest presidential wing helicopter in the Philippine Air Force's 252nd Helicopter Squadron of the 250th Presidential Airlift Wing based in Villamor Air Base. The only Puma helicopter in the inventory of the PAF. A medium transport helo, France in origin with the capability to operate day or night in all weather, all climate. It has a large cabin, a crew of 2 and 16-20 troops or 6 stretchers. It has a speed of 163 mph and a range without reserves of 342 miles powered by a 4-bladed rotor.

Bell UH-1N (212)

Adaptation of the initial production PT6T-3 turbo twin pac to the air frame of the model 205 proceeded without problems and deliveries of the Bell 212 began in 1970 with a tri-service designation of UH-1N. The helicopter saw worldwide service supporting mainly special operations and counter-insurgency missions. Its improved safety offered by its twin pac powerplant made it attractive to foreign customers. It has a maximum speed of 204 kph and a maximum range of 460 km.

The example served the Philippine Air Force painted with the smart colours of the 252nd Helicopter Airlift Wing (Presidential) and equipped with a very high standard and excellent communications and weather radar for IFR flight.

Cessna T210G

In the region of Southeast Asia, so far two air arms, the Royal Thai Air Force(RTAF) and the Philippine Air Force (PAF) utilized specialized aircraft for a specialized mission. A mission not common to any air forces in the world - Rainmaking.

While the Royal Thai Air Force utilizes their C-47 Dakotas for this purpose, the Philippine Air Force performs this mission using one of the unusual aircraft in its inventory - the Cessna T210G Turbo Centurions. Three were delivered although only one is reportedly active today operating under the 901st Weather Squadron, part of a transport wing stationed in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, Metro Manila. Its mission is meteorological reconnaissance and its orginal role,rainmaking, hence it was named "Rainmaker". It alludes its use as a "weather modifier" sowing rain clouds with pellets of silver iodide and other chemicals to induce precipitation. Rainmaking can be used for civic missions especially to an agricultural country like the Philippines helping in crop production and for military purposes against the enemy. "Rainmaking" missions are perform to induce flooding enemy territory slowing and disrupting its supply routes in the ground.

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