Philippines to acquire 32 new Black Hawk helicopters


MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines is shopping for 32 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Poland-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary PZL (*32*) to beef up its present fleet of 12, the nation’s defence chief stated on Sunday, because it seeks to enhance its catastrophe response capabilities.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana stated a discover of award was issued on Dec. 28 for the acquisition of name new helicopters beneath a challenge that comes with logistics help and a coaching package deal for pilots and upkeep crew at a value of 32 billion pesos ($624 million).

The contract was now being drafted, with the supply of the primary 5 models anticipated in 2023, Lorenzana stated on Facebook. The remaining ones can be delivered in three batches, 10 models in 2024, 10 models in 2025, and seven models in 2026, he stated.

“The lack of transport planes and helicopters have by no means been extra acute in the course of the pandemic and within the aftermath of Typhoon (Rai),” Lorenzana stated.

“This was exacerbated by our getting old Hueys which have change into uneconomical to preserve.”

Rai, final 12 months’s fifteenth and deadliest storm to hit the Philippines, left greater than 400 individuals lifeless and brought about widespread harm in central and southern areas of the nation in December.

The United Nations’ Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on Sunday stated in an announcement that a whole lot of hundreds of individuals nonetheless wanted meals and clear water, shelter and safety help, one month after the world’s second deadliest catastrophe of 2021 hit the Philippines.

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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