According to local media reports, the Polish PZL Mielec, a subsidiary of Sikorsky, has signed a contract for delivery of 16 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters to the Philippines. Over a dozen of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters will be manufactured by PZL Mielec, a Sikorski company, and delivered to the Philippine Air Force (PAF). Deliveries should commence in 2020 and run through to 2021.
Local media report that the Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has reached an agreement worth $241.4 million (915,4 million Polish Zloty) with Sikorsky and PZL Mielec for the procurement of 16 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters in the ‘combat utility’ configuration. The contract was said to be signed in March 2019, with the Notice to Proceed document sent to the Polish manufacturer the following month.
According to Frances Mangosing, a local defence expert and reporter for INQUIRER.net, who attended the Air Force Symposium 2019 held this June in Manila, 16 Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters will likely be delivered in batches starting third quarter of 2020 and will be completed in 2021. Mangosing further reports that according to some representatives of Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s parent company, deliveries of new helicopters might commence earlier.
S-70i Black Hawks will replace in PAF’s inventory a number of legacy Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters. They will be used for transporting of troops and supplies as well as in humanitarian relief and disaster response operations.