The Armament Agency announced its plan to acquire the S-70i Black Hawks for the air mobile units via its Twitter account. The brief release stresses the fact that the new platform would be interoperable with the already procured AW149s, and the AH-64E Apache Guardian gunships as well. The procurement would involve more than 20 helicopters, we have found off the record.
At the moment, no information is known regarding the said procurement. However, we are dealing with the third Black Hawk contract involving the Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin's PZL Mielec facility, and the Polish Armed Forces. Black Hawk helicopters have already been procured for the Polish SOF. The first lot of 4 aircraft was ordered back in 2019 and delivered to the JW GROM SOF Unit during the same year. The contract, with a value of PLN 683.4 million, assumed that apart from training and logistics packages, the helicopters would receive post-delivery upgrades.
Back in December 2021 another 4 Black Hawk helicopters in SOF configuration were procured, also for the GROM SOF Unit - at a price of PLN 666 million (gross). The deliveries would be finalized between 2023 and 2024. The Polish Police currently operates 3 Black Hawk helicopters, and another 2 were procured in 2022. The latter procurement had a quote of PLN 350 million, and it was financed by the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, in its entirety.
The Black Hawk helicopters manufactured at Mielec were also exported to Chile, Philippines, and to Romania. The procurement of those helicopters would translate into another reinforcement of the Polish air-mobile elements. Back in 2022, 32 AW149 helicopters integrated with the Hellfire ATGMs were procured for the 25th Air Cavalry Brigade. The acquisition of the Black Hawks for the Polish Armed Forces had been announced by Minister Błaszczak last year. Both types, as it is assumed, are expected to work together.
The new Black Hawk helicopters are also expected to work closely with the AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters - planned to be procured soon. Black Hawks and Apaches are known to work together in the US Army Combat Aviation Brigades.
Off the record, Defence24.pl found out that the Black Hawk helicopters will be configured in a manner making them capable of employing weapons, Hellfire ATGM included. They would also be tailored to work in sync with the Apache Guardian platform as well.