Home Air Philippines signs up for another 32 Polish-built S70i Black Hawk helicopters

Philippines signs up for another 32 Polish-built S70i Black Hawk helicopters

Philippine Black Hawks
Philippine Air Force photo of S70i Black Hawk helicopters at the Clark Air Base

The Philippine defense ministry announced it has signed a contract with Poland’s PZL Mielec for the purchase of 32 additional S70i Black Hawk helicopters.

The contract signing ceremony took place on February 22, after the PZL Mielec delivered the final five of overall 16 Black Hawks to the Philippine Air Force in November last year.

PZL Mielec is manufacturing the helicopters under license from Sikorsky USA, with both Sikorsky and PZL Mielec being part of Lockheed Martin.

The 2019 contract for the 16 airframes was worth $241 million, while the follow-on order for 32 units has a value of $624 million and includes an integrated logistics support and training package for pilots and maintenance crew.

Once deliveries of the helicopters from the second contract are completed, the Philippine Air Force will be operating 47 helicopters of the type. One Black Hawk was lost in a fatal crash in June last year.

“Hopefully, the delivery of these new utility helicopters will start soon. I think we will not be here anymore to receive these helicopters, but nonetheless, we will be happy to see the improvement of the capability of the Philippine Air Force,” Secretary of National Defense, Delfin N Lorenzana, commented.

In addition to the Philippines, PZL Mielec also has a contract for the delivery of European-built Black Hawk helicopters to Romania, where they will be equipped for both land and maritime operations and feature medical suites.