Poland offers fully armed S-70i Black Hawk to Philippine Air Force

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Poland is offering the armed variant of S-70i Black Hawk helicopter to the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

“A fully armed version of the S-70i matches the needs of the PAF expressed in its program,” Republic of Poland Ambassador to the Philippines Jarosław Szczepankiewicz said in a statement published on Business Mirror on June 10.

PAF is awaiting delivery for its 16 ordered S-70i Black Hawks which will be utilized as combat utility helicopters. First six are expected before 2020 ends.

“The commonality between the armed Black Hawk and the already contracted 16 S-70is for the PAF combat-utility helicopter program will further enhance sustained cost-efficiencies between the two fleets. Armed S-70is are already in commission in three countries: the United States, the United Arab Emirates, and Colombia,” the Polish ambassador said.

Szczepankiewicz explained that apart from complying with the PAF’s acquisition budget, the Armed Black Hawk S-70i has low flight-hour and sustaining costs for training sessions, spare parts and ground support, as well as high-flight availability.

“PZL-Mielec can meet the PAF’s schedule with the first Armed Black Hawk delivery in initial operating capability in June 2022, with the remaining aircraft and full operating capability within 2023,” he added.

“Moreover, the draft of the memorandum of understanding covering the implementing agreement on Defense Cooperation between Poland’s Ministry of National Defense and the Philippines’s Department of National Defense is being finalized and should be available for signing by both parties soon,” Szczepankiewicz said.