The Philippines Will Buy Another 32 Units of Black Hawk Helicopters

On top of the 16 black hawks it already acquired.

As the Philippines completed the orders of its first 16 Black Hawk helicopters in November 2021, the country is set to make a new acquisition for an additional 32 units of the famous military chopper. 

On January 16, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana bared the plan to spend $620 million for the purchase of 32 Black Hawk S-70i for the Philippines. The country’s armed forces is currently undergoing a modernization program, and part of that program is to phase out its Vietnam War-era Huey helicopters and replace them with more modern ones such as the S-70i.

The Black Hawks are manufactured in Poland under the American company Lockheed Martin. The first batch of the choppers is expected to arrive in the Philippines next year, said Lorenzana. 

“The lack of transport planes and helicopters have never been more acute during the pandemic and in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette. This was exacerbated by our aging Hueys that have become uneconomical to maintain,” wrote Lorenzana on his Facebook account. 

A Notice of Award was issued to PZL Mielec of Poland on December 28, 2021 for the project. It comes with an Initial Logistics Support Package and Training for Pilots and Maintenance Crew amounting to P32 billion, said Lorenzana. 

Prior to the purchase, the Philippine Air Force’s aging fleet of Huey helicopters had been notorious for crashes, with four accidents involving Hueys occurring between 2019 and 2020. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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