Philippine military

Philippines to acquire 32 new Black Hawk helicopters

Reuters
Philippines to acquire 32 new Black Hawk helicopters

IN ACTION. The Tactical Operations Wing Eastern Mindanao directs two S-70i Blackhawk helicopters to perform disaster relief operations at Dinagat Island in response to Typhoon Odette in these photos posted on the Philippine Air Force Facebook page on January 14, 2022.

Philippine Air Force

With the purchase, the defense department seeks to boost its disaster response capabilities. The first five units are expected to be delivered in 2023.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is buying 32 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Poland-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary PZL Mielec to beef up its existing fleet of 12, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Sunday, January 16, as it seeks to boost its disaster response capabilities.

Lorenzana said a notice of award was issued on December 28 for the purchase of brand new helicopters under a project that comes with logistics support and a training package for pilots and maintenance crew at a cost of P32 billion ($624 million).

The contract was now being drafted, with the delivery of the first five units expected in 2023, Lorenzana said on Facebook. The remaining ones will be delivered in three batches, 10 units in 2024, 10 units in 2025, and 7 units in 2026, he said.


“The lack of transport planes and helicopters have never been more acute during the pandemic and in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette (international name Rai),” Lorenzana said.

“This was exacerbated by our aging Hueys that have become uneconomical to maintain.”

Typhoon Odette, last year’s 15th and deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippines, left more than 400 people dead and caused widespread damage in central and southern regions of the country in December.

The United Nations’ Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Sunday said in a statement that hundreds of thousands of people still needed food and clean water, shelter and protection support, one month after the world’s second deadliest disaster of 2021 hit the Philippines. – Rappler.com

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