There's a certain amount of irony in word that Canada is selling new military helicopters to the Philippines when it's in its third decade of trying to procure replacements for the navy's ancient Sea Kings.
Postmedia News reports the sprawling Pacific island nation will spend more than $100 million to buy eight Bell 412 helicopters from Canadian Commercial Corporation, a federal Crown corporation that helps industry with government-to-government business.
The purchase, along with the purchase of 12 Korean-built jet fighter-trainers for $420 million, is part of a program to bolster the Philippine military against growing Chinese pressure in the South China Sea.
"This is significant because we need to give our armed forces the minimum capability to perform its mission and responsibility," Philippine Defence Undersecretary Fernado Manalo told reporters in Manila after completing negotiations, according to the country's GMA News site.
[ Related: Canada says back on track to buy SikorskyRead More »from While its own navy waits, Canada sells military helicopters to the Philippines