Philippine Air Force to receive first S-70i Black Hawk helicopters this year

According to a photo uploaded by Kępanowski on Instagram on July 1st, first S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters (CUHs) of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) are soon to be delivered.

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Philippine Air Force to receive first S 70i Black Hawk helicopters S-70i helicopter for the Philippine Air Force (Picture source: Kępanowski)

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft.  Named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk, the UH-60A entered service with the U.S. Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the US Army's tactical transport helicopter.

Both Republic of Poland Ambassador to the Philippines Jarosław Szczepankiewicz and PAF have confirmed that around 6 of 16 ordered S-70i Black Hawk CUHs will be delivered before 2020 ends.

“The purchase of 16 S-70i combat-utility helicopters manufactured by the Polish Aviation Works-Mielec (PZL-Mielec) is an excellent example of cooperation between our two countries,” Ambassador Szczepankiewicz said in June. “By the end of 2020, PZL-Mielec will hand over the first six units of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters to the PAF under a contract signed in 2019.”

“On Combat Utility Helicopters, the delivery of 5 to 6 Blackhawk S70i is expected before the year ends,” PAF also said in June.

Ambassador Szczepankiewicz also noted that an armed version of S-70i Black Hawk is also being offered.

“A fully armed version of the S-70i matches the needs of the PAF expressed in its program,” the envoy said. “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.”