Air Force to receive Black Hawk choppers in June

Air Force to receive Black Hawk choppers in June

/ 05:50 AM March 11, 2024

BLACK HAWK / SAVED MARCH 10, 2024The additional Black Hawks by PZL Mielec ???? for the Philippine Air Force are scheduled to be delivered to the Philippines by June 2024. The procurement of 32 S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters was made as part of the Additional Utility Helicopters (S-70i Black Hawk) Acquisition Project of the Philippine Air Force under the 2nd List of Horizon 2 phase projects of the Revised AFP Modernization Program (RAFPMP). Screengrab from the Official Facebook Page of Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Manila

Screengrab from the Official Facebook Page of Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Manila

PZL Mielec, the Polish subsidiary of American aerospace and arms company Lockheed Martin, is gearing up to deliver in about three months the first batch of a second order for additional units of S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters to the Philippine Air Force (PAF).

According to the Polish Embassy in Manila, the choppers are scheduled to be delivered in June, more than two years after a deal was signed in February 2022.


The Philippines ordered additional 32 Black Hawk helicopters in 2022 for P32 billion to boost the country’s military transport capabilities.


It earlier acquired 16 units of the same choppers from PZL Mielec for P12.1 billion to replace the PAF’s Vietnam War-era Huey (UH-1H) helicopters.

Part of the package includes integrated logistics support and training package for pilots and maintenance crew.

The embassy did not say in its post on X (former Twitter) how many units were expected for delivery, but the Philippines was supposed to receive the first five in 2023, with 10 more in 2024, another 10 in 2025 and 7 units in 2026.

Largest S-70i operator

There was also no explanation why the initial delivery faced delays.

Once completed, the PAF would be the world’s largest operator of the S-70i.

Last week, the Department of Budget and Management released the fourth multi-year obligational authority or milestone payment for the helicopters worth P8.2 billion.


Transport helicopters are crucial in military operations, especially for an archipelago like the Philippines.

They are primarily used in ferrying troops and cargo, medical evacuation, resupply, search and rescue, limited close air support, and disaster relief.

The PAF is currently operating 15 units of the Black Hawk after one crashed in Tarlac province in June 2021 during a night flight training, killing all six Air Force crew onboard.

An investigation revealed that bad weather had caused the crash.

Boosting ferry capacity

The PAF is also expected to formally receive this month the second of two refurbished Lockheed Martin C-130H tactical transport aircraft from the United States, boosting its ferry capacity in various peacekeeping missions. The first of the two C-130H planes was delivered in 2021.

READ: 1st batch of additional 32 Black Hawk choppers to arrive in 2023 — Lorenzana

Both cost P2.5 billion but the Philippines would pay only P1.6 billion through US military financing under the Excess Defense Articles Program. The Philippines is also expecting to receive three brand-new C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft worth P22.1 billion in 2026 and 2027.

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In July last year, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. reiterated his commitment to modernize the PAF as “custodians of our skies,” citing its principles of “integrity, excellence and patriotism” in pursuit of its mandate as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. INQ

TAGS: Air Force, Black Hawk

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