The training of Philippine Air Force (PAF) pilots who will operate the 16 Black Hawk helicopters to be acquired from Lockheed Martin Sikorsky will be carried out in Florida, United States, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on January 16 during the plenary discussion on DND’s 2019 budget.
The defense chief made the statement when asked by Senator JV Ejercito regarding the training materials and trainors. “Since [the manufacturer is] Sikorsky, will this already be in English? I assume that these (manuals) will not be in Polish,” Ejercito said.
Though built in Poland, the S-70i Black Hawk helicopters will be certified by US-based Lockheed Martin Sikorsky.
“They will be in English your honor,” Secretary Lorenzana said.
“That’s good to hear. Because what I heard from some Air Force personnel before, that the problem with Sokol, since mayrong language barrier, ‘yung mga manuals tapos the trainors instead of them having actual performance nangyari demo nalang, kasi mayron ngang language barrier,” the senator explained.
“Yes your honor, in fact the training of our pilots will be done in Florida,” Secretary Lorenzana noted. “So all the manuals and everything will be in English.”
Lorenzana added that PAF wants delivery to start in six months after the contract signing.
“According to the manufacturer, they can produce the whole lot in two years time, but what our Air Force want is once the contract is signed they want deliveries in the next six months – even just couple of choppers to be delivered, maybe monthly thereafter until the whole lot is delivered,” he said.