Another five S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters from Poland arrived in the country on Monday.
Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano, Philippine Air Force (PAF) spokesperson, said the five brand-new Black Hawk helicopters were loaded in an Antonov transport aircraft that arrived at the Clark Air Base in Pampanga.
These are part of the 16 helicopters ordered by the country from Polish company Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze Sp.z.o.o.
An initial six units were delivered to the country in November last year.
“With the latest delivery, the PAF now has 11 Black Hawk utility helicopters. Meanwhile, the third batch of five helicopters are scheduled to be delivered before the end of 2021,” Mariano said in a statement.
The Polish company is manufacturing Black Hawk helicopters under license from Sikorsky USA.
The 16 Black Hawk helicopters acquired by the country are worth $241 million (about P11.5 billion). These were procured through a government-to-government transaction with Poland in 2019.
Mariano said the helicopters can be applied with suitable equipment to meet a variety of missions.
“The recent arrival of the five Black Hawks will further boost the heli-lift capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and will help the government deliver more services in more areas in less time. In the past few months, the Black Hawks transported vaccines and PPE (personal protective equipment) sets to the remotest areas of Batanes, Bicol, and other parts of the country,” he added. SOVEREIGNPH