MELBOURNE, Australia — The Philippines has taken supply of the primary of 16 Polish-built S-70i Black Hawk transport helicopters it has on order, with one other as a result of arrive within the subsequent month.
A chartered Ukrainian Antonov An-124 transport plane delivered 5 helicopters to Clark Air Base north of the Philippine capital Manila, in accordance with the federal government information company.
It added that the Antonov had arrived on Nov. 9 after departing from Rzeszow-Jasionka Airport in Poland two days earlier.
A sixth Black Hawk is being transported by sea and can arrive within the Philippines in early December, in accordance with the nation’s Department of National Defense, or DND. The division added that the helicopter is being shipped by sea because the Antonov might solely carry 5 helicopters in its cargo maintain.
The remaining ten helicopters will probably be delivered in 2021.
The helicopters are manufactured by Poland’s PZL Mielec, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin which had additionally beforehand acquired Sikorsky, the unique producer of the Black Hawk.
The Philippines acquired the helicopters below a government-to-government cope with Poland, signing a contract price $241 million in 2019. The Black Hawks are being purchased below the U.S. ally’s five-year Horizon 2 modernization program, which can run from 2018-2022.
Transport helicopters are an important a part of the Philippine armed forces. The nation is an archipelagic nation made up of over 7,000 islands and has to take care of a variety of ongoing insurgencies in addition to common pure disasters, with helicopters ceaselessly used to move troops and gear in addition to conducting aid operations.
The nation seeks to buy Bell UH-1 utility helicopters not too long ago retired by South Korea, and has additionally taken supply of six Brazilian-built Embraer A-29B Tucano counterinsurgency plane in mid-October.