On the 25th of January, Mariusz Blaszczak, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Poland, signed a 159 million euros contract for the procurement of 4 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters. The signing ceremony took place in PZL Mielec factory. Black Hawks will be used by Polish Special Forces and the helicopters are to be delivered together with training and logistics package. Expected delivery date is before December 2019.
The without-a-tender procedure was justified by the need for interoperability with the crafts used by the Police and other NATO states. Polish S-70i Black Hawks will probably be used for special operations within the NATO Response Force. According to the Ministry of Defence, the unit price of a single, equipped helicopter is EUR 17,5 million (PLN 75 million). The whole contract is valued at EUR 159,26 million (PLN 683,4 million) and encompasses the logistical and training package.
Black Hawks will be used by the 7th Special Squadron (7. Eskadra Dzialan Specjalnych) stationed in Powidz as a part of 33rd Airlift Air Base. New helicopters are to be adapted for special operations such as aerial reconnaissance, fire support, and landing operations.
New Special Forces aircraft will be equipped similarly to the ones offered to Chile in 2018. Black Hawks have General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines with air intake filters, fast-rope fixings, passenger compartment winch, external load hook, and a FLIR optoelectronic head. Pilots utilize equipment such as armored seats, AN/APX-117 transponder, Honeywell Primus 701A weather radar, and Rockwell Collins DF-500 SAR signal locator.