Philippine Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana has announced that the country will order 32 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for more than $620 million.
The government last year completed an order of 16 S-70i helicopters to replace the Air Force’s fleet of Bell UH-1Hs, commonly known as the Huey, after fatal accidents. Manila is buying additional Black Hawks from Poland-based Lockheed Martin subsidiary PZL Mielec.
First of these new rotorcraft will begin to arrive in Philippines from next year. He said that the remaining units will be delivered in three batches, 10 units in 2024, 10 units in 2025 and seven units in 2026, Lorenzana said in a Facebook post.
Lorenzana said a notice of award was issued on December 28 to purchase brand-new helicopters under a project that comes with logistics support and a training package for pilots and maintenance crew.
The S-70i multi-role helicopter is capable of lifting 15 people, including four crew members, to up to 13,000 feet with a cruising speed of 276kmph. It can reach speeds of 361kmph and has a range of 460km.
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