Chile has signed for six Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters to be delivered in 2018, the manufacturer announced on 7 December.
The contract signing followed a type selection made by the Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile: FACh) in September, in which the Black Hawk beat off competition from Leonardo Helicopters, Airbus Helicopters, Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), and Rosoboronexport, which had offered the AW149, H215, Surion, and Mi-17 'Hip' respectively.
Further to the helicopters, the contract includes a logistical support package that will cover spare parts, pilots and maintenance specialists training, on-site technical assistance and ground support equipment. No contract value was disclosed.
The S-70i (international) helicopters are to be built by Sikorsky's subsidiary, PZL Mielec, in Poland. Improvements made on the S-70i over the baseline Black Hawk include a fully integrated digital glass cockpit featuring colour 6x8-inch (15x20 cm) multifunction display (MFD) units and a dual digital automatic flight-control system (AFCS). It also features a digital map and more powerful General Electric T700-GE-701D engines.
Once delivered, they will augment the one S-70 that the FACh received in 1998 as well as its remaining rotary fleet of mainly Bell 412 and UH-1H platforms. While the current plan is to procure just six aircraft, Sikorsky has previously told IHS Jane's that there is the potential for more to be bought at a later date.
This article, first published 7 December 2016, is subject to a correction and has been amended.
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