skip to main content

Philippines to order more Black Hawk helos

The Philippines is to acquire a further 32 Black Hawk helicopters to add to the 16 received. (Lockheed Martin)

The Philippines is to order 32 additional Lockheed Martin S-70i Black Hawk utility helicopters to add to the 16 already acquired (of which one was recently lost in an accident).

Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana said on 16 January that the country's recent disaster relief experiences have underscored the need to replace the armed forces' ageing Bell UH-1 ‘Huey' helicopters with more Black Hawks.

“The lack of transport planes and helicopters have never been more acute during the [Covid-19] pandemic and in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette. This was exacerbated by our ageing Hueys that have become uneconomical to maintain. The brand new Black Hawks bore the brunt of the work during these critical times,” Lorenzana said. “Upon the instruction of the president, we are procuring additional 32 brand new S-70i Black Hawk helicopters,” he added.

According to the minister, a notice of award was issued to Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec of Poland on 28 December 2021 for the project. The deal for the helicopters, which includes an initial logistics support package and training for pilots and maintenance crew, is valued at PHP32 billion (USD620 million).

“The contract agreement is now being drafted, after which I will issue a notice to proceed to officially commence the project,” Lorenzana said.

The delivery of these new helicopters will start in calendar year (CY) 2023 (five units), while the remaining 27 will be delivered in three batches in CY 2024 (10 units); CY 2025 (10 units); and CY 2026 (seven units).

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...