PAF awaits delivery of its brand new Black Hawk helicopters

PAF awaits delivery of its brand new Black Hawk helicopters

Indeed this is also a good year for the Philippine Air Force, as it will be receiving much needed air assets to bolster its ageing fleet.

It was reported earlier that the Philippines will be expecting delivery of the brand new six Embraer A-29B Super Tucano from Brazil will arrive around the last quarter of this year.

The good news does not stop there, the Philippine Air Force as it continues to expand its fleet is also expecting the delivery of its brand new 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters between this year and 2021.

Sikorsky S-70i Black hawk Utility helicopter (photo credit to owner)

It was reported that the 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black hawk combat utility helicopters will likely be delivered in batches starting third quarter of 2020 and will be completed in 2021, said Jacob Sifers, regional business development manager of Lockheed Martin Global Inc.

But he said there was a possibility that the start of the delivery may be made earlier.

The Black Hawks were the replacement for the cancelled combat utility helicopters from Canada, after some of its government officials  expressed concern that the helicopters could be used for counterinsurgency operations.

It was only last December of 2018 that Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana announced that the PAF has selected the Black Hawk to replace the cancelled contract of 16 units of Bell 412EP Helicopters from Canada.

While Lockheed Martin is an American defense company, Lorenzana said the Black Hawk helicopters for the Philippine Air Force will be built by Poland’s PZL Mielec, its biggest production facility outside the U.S.

The total signed contract for the Black Hawks was worth around P12 billion.

“This will replace our ageing Hueys. It will be used to transport troops and supplies, humanitarian assistance and disaster response during calamities,” Lorenzana said.

The S-70i Black Hawks will replace the  Vietnam War-era Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopters are currently the tried and tested workhorse of the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

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Report from PDI

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