PZL Mielec To Deliver 32 Black Hawks to the Philippines, Starting Next Year
Following an order of the President, the Philippines decided to procure extra 32 S-70i Black Hawk Helicopters. The Polish PZL Mielec company was awarded a relevant order on 28th December 2021, including initial logistics support and pilot/ground crew training package. Its value is defined as 32 billion pesos which translates into roughly USD 630 million, as Delfin Lorenzana, head of the Philippine MoD said. The agreement is to be signed within January so that it is possible to deliver the helicopters starting in 2023.
As announced by Lorenzana, the tragic experiences gathered during the period after the Rai typhoon were the main factor behind the rapid procurement - the typhoon affected the country in December last year, with more than 100 fatal casualties. The aforesaid natural disaster also highlighted the insufficient number of helicopters that play a critical role in crises as such.
Lorenzana stressed that 12 new Black Hawk helicopters carried out most of the tasks related to the provision of help following the Rai typhoon, while the Huey helicopters are gradually approaching the end of their lifetimes, and also are quite costly to operate in so adverse circumstances, where they have seen so much use. Thus, a decision was made to triple the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter numbers.
Between 2020 and 2021 Manila received 16 aircraft delivered by PZL Mielec, based on an agreement signed in 2019. Back in December 2021, Lorenzana announced that up to 630 million dollars would be allocated to the acquisition of another 32 helicopters. On 17th January 2022, he announced, via social media, that information on the order was transferred to PZL Mielec, and works are underway, on the details and specifics of the agreement. The delivery schedule planned has been put into place already.
The first 5 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters are to be delivered in 2023, with a lot of 5 aircraft. The second lot - 10 examples - is to be delivered to Manila in 2024. Another lot of 10 examples is scheduled to be commissioned a year later. The last 7 aircraft would be delivered in 2026. It is assumed then, the deliveries would progress quite rapidly, with large quantities of aircraft involved. The helicopters would be delivered with equipment, spares, and training services.