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PH, Poland sign deal opening doors to more Black Hawk choppers

/ 07:26 PM April 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines and Poland have signed an agreement that will pave the way for government-to-government deals on defense hardware, including additional Black Hawk multi-role helicopters.

The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of Poland signed last April 7 an implementing agreement on the procurement of defense materiel, the embassy of Poland in the Philippines said in a Facebook post.

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Signing ceremony on-line of ‘Implementation Agreement with regard to the purchase of arms and military equipment’…

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Posted by PLinPhilippines on Thursday, April 8, 2021

The agreement was signed by Defense Assistant Secretary Jesus Rey Avila for the Philippines and Brig. Gen. Karol Dymanowski on behalf of Poland.

“The agreement provides guidelines on defense procurement rules and procedures and constitutes legal framework for intergovernmental procurement,” the embassy said.

The deal allows long-term cooperation in the area of defense procurement.

The Philippines has earlier ordered 16 units of S-70i Black Hawk helicopters, worth P12.1 billion, from PZL Mielec, the Polish subsidiary of American aircraft leader Lockheed Martin. The first six units had already been delivered.

President Rodrigo Duterte early this year approved the acquisition of additional Black Hawk helicopters to pave the way for the decommissioning of Vietnam War-era Huey helicopters, the workhorse of the Philippine Air Force. It remains unclear whether all the additional Black Hawk choppers would be sourced from Poland.

The President’s decision to acquire new helicopters came following a series of accidents involving Hueys since 2020, which killed at least 12 people in separate crashes.

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Helicopters are crucial in the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands, making transport more difficult especially during calamities. They are also used in search and rescue missions, close air support, medical evacuation and disaster response.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier said he hoped to sign a new contract for additional Black Hawk helicopters within 2021.

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TAGS: agreement, Black Hawk, Defense, DND, helicopters, Poland
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