New Black Hawk choppers join AFP’s fleet

Published December 5, 2021, 10:36 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

The five brand new Black Hawk S-70i helicopters that were acquired by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) have officially been accepted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), it was announced on Saturday night, Dec. 4.

(Photo: Department of National Defense)

Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Andres Centino led the formal acceptance, blessing, and turnover of the new aircraft at Clark Air Base in Pampanga last Friday.

“Sixteen of these were ordered with the first six delivered in November 2020 while the other five were received in October this year,” the AFP said in a statement.

The P11.5-billion acquisition was an integral part of the continuing efforts of the government to modernize and boost the capabilities of the military.

The Black Hawk choppers were manufactured by Polish company PZLMielec and delivered last month.

Talks were ongoing to purchase additional units of Black Hawk helicopter to replace the ageing Huey choppers which were acquired in the 1970s.

Black Hawk is a combat utility helicopter that is capable of flying at a speed of 361 kilometers per hour, and has a range of 460 km.

It can be configured according to specific missions including troop transport and air assault, command and control (C2), border patrol, search and rescue (SAR), disaster response, cargolift, and VIP transport.