Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has confirmed that the country will buy 32 additional S-70i Blackhawk combat utility helicopters for PhP32 Billion (about US$624.5 million).
The new helicopters are expected to be delivered in four batches at a rate of one batch per year starting in 2023.
“Upon the instruction of the President, we are procuring additional 32 brand new S-70i Blackhawk Helicopters,” Lorenzana wrote in his official social account post on Sunday. “A Notice of Award was issued to PZL Mielec of Poland on 28 December 2021 for the project that comes with an Initial Logistics Support Package and Training for Pilots and Maintenance Crew amounting to PhP32 Billion.”
The Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) signed a contract worth US$241.4 million in 2019 with PZL Mielec – a Lockheed Martin subsidiary – to acquire 16 S-70i Blackhawk. While the delivery of the last five Blackhawks was completed in September 2021, the loss of one in a fatal accident in June 2021 has decreased the number in active service to 15.
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