Philippines Air Force Completes its “Black Hawk” Choppers Fleet


(PNA): The Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced on Tuesday that the delivery of 16 Polish-made S-70i “Black Hawk” combat utility helicopters had been completed.

Col. Maynard Mariano, a PAF spokesman, told reporters that the last batch of five S-70i “Black Hawk” helicopters arrived at the Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga on Monday morning.

“It was brought by an Antonov airplane (An-124) that landed in Clark at 10:45 a.m. (the final five S-70i helicopters). PZL Mielec from Poland is once again the (manufacturing) firm. (They are the business with the US license to construct the ‘Black Hawk,’) “Mariano said.

He also stated that the technical inspection of the choppers has begun prior to their commissioning into service.

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“Every time (air assets are delivered), it needs to go through protocols,” Mariano explained. “It has to go through acceptance, it has to go through the testing of all the systems (before we accept it).”

Mariano did not provide a time frame for the examination but indicated it would be a lengthy procedure.

“So if these components do not pass the tolerance in the specified checklist and test, they will not be approved by the Air Force, (and we will have the) manufacturer come in or they will have to return the aircraft or equipment to be corrected,” he adds.

The Polish company PZL Mielec has received a USD241 million contract from the PAF for 16 S-70i helicopters.

The first six were delivered in November 2020, followed by a second batch of five in June of this year.

On June 24, one of the six original units given to the nation crashed during a night-flying training.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines will be able to perform a variety of operations, including humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions, with the use of these helicopters.


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Syed Ali Abbas
Syed Ali Abbas is a Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies Islamabad and President of Global Defense Insight. He tweets @smalinaqvi05.


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