The Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced on Tuesday that the delivery of 16 Polish-made S-70i “Black Hawk” combat utility helicopters has been completed.
Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Maynard Mariano told reporters that the last batch of five S-70i “Black Hawk” helicopters arrived at the Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Pampanga on Monday morning.
“(The last five S-70i helicopters), it was transported by an Antonov aircraft (An-124) that landed in Clark around 10:45 AM. Again the (manufacturing) company is the PZL Mielec from Poland. (They are the company that has the license from the US) to build the ‘Black Hawk’,” Mariano said.
He also stated that the technical inspection of the brand new aircraft has begun prior to their commissioning into service.
“Every time (there is a delivery of air assets), it has to go through processes, so it has to go through acceptance, it has to go through the checking of all the systems (before we accept it),” Mariano added.
Mariano did not provide a time frame for the inspection, but indicated it would be a lengthy procedure.
“So if these items will not pass the tolerance in the given checklist and the test then it will not be accepted by the Air Force, (and we will have the) manufacturer come in or they have to bring the aircraft or equipment back to have it fixed,” he added.
The Polish company PZL Mielec has received a $241 million (about P11.5 billion) order from the PAF for 16 S-70i helicopters.
The first six were delivered in November 2020, followed by a second batch of five in June 2021.
On June 24, one of the six initial units given to the country crashed during a night-flying exercise.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines will be able to perform a variety of operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions, with the use of these helicopters.