Five more S-70i Black Hawk helos for PAF arrive in Philippines

by Gabriel Dominguez

An additional five Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) have arrived at Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga Province.

The Philippine Air Force received five more S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Poland on 7 June. (Philippine Air Force)

The Philippine Air Force received five more S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Poland on 7 June. (Philippine Air Force)

The multirole rotorcraft, which were manufactured by PZL Mielec – a Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky company in Poland – landed at the base on 7 June aboard an Antonov An-124 Ruslan strategic airlifter, said the PAF in a statement issued that same day.

The aircraft are part of an order for 16 S-70is placed by Manila in 2019 to meet the PAF's ‘combat utility helicopter' (CUH) requirement under the ‘Horizon 2' phase of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program (RAFPMP).

The arrival of the second batch of Black Hawks follows the induction of the first six helicopters of the type into the PAF's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing on 10 December 2020. The remaining five rotorcraft are expected to be delivered before the end of this year.

The platforms are being acquired under a USD241 million contract between Manila and Warsaw.

The move comes after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte approved in early February the acquisition of at least 15 more Black Hawks for the PAF amid plans to decommission the service's ageing Bell UH-1 ‘Huey' multirole helicopters following a series of accidents in recent months, the latest of which occurred on 16 January in Mindanao and resulted in the death of all seven people on board.

Manila has not specified which Black Hawk variant is to be acquired by the PAF, but it is likely to be a follow-on order for S-70is.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/five-more-s-70i-black-hawk-helos-for-paf-arrive-in-philippines

An additional five Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the Philippine Air Force (PAF) have arr...

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