The Philippine defense ministry announced it has received the first batch of Sikorsky S70-i Blackhawk Helicopters for the Philippine Air Force.
An Antonov heavy transport plane transported five Blackhawks to the Clark Air Base near Manila on November 9. A sixth unit was loaded on a ship and is expected to arrive in Manila next month.
According to the defense ministry, the remaining 10 units are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2021.
The 16 helicopters, acquired from Polish company PZL Mielec, were manufactured under license from Sikorsky USA. Both Sikorsky and PZL Mielec have been acquired by Lockheed Martin.
The Blackhawks will boost the armed forces’ to conduct various operations, including combat missions, humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
The Philippines is looking to further boost these capabilities with the potential purchase of retired South Korean Bell UH-1 utility helicopters.