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Philippines bolsters Black Hawk fleet

The Secretary of the Department of National Defense has confirmed that the Filipino government intends to purchase 32 new Black Hawk helicopters to bolster the country’s current Black Hawk fleet, with the agreement valued at an estimated US$624 million.

The Secretary of the Department of National Defense has confirmed that the Filipino government intends to purchase 32 new Black Hawk helicopters to bolster the country’s current Black Hawk fleet, with the agreement valued at an estimated US$624 million.

The Philippines government this week has confirmed that the country intends to bolster its current fleet of 12 Black Hawk helicopters, with contract to purchase an additional 32 helicopters at an estimated value of $624 million.

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Confirming the agreement via Facebook, the Secretary of the Department of National Defense for the Republic of the Philippines Delfin Lorenzana announced that the Notice of Award was offered to Poland’s PZL Mielec, with “an Initial Logistics Support Package and Training for Pilots and Maintenance Crew amounting to PhP32 billion”.

PZL Mielec has been a subsidiary of Sikorsky since 2007.

Secretary Lorenzana explained that the Notice to Proceed with the agreement will be launched following the finalisation of the contract agreement.

It is expected that the Philippine government would receive the first five units of the agreement throughout the 2023 calendar year, followed by 10 units in 2024, 10 units in 2024 and the final seven in 2026.

“The lack of transport planes and helicopters have never been more acute during the pandemic and in the aftermath of Typhoon Odette. This was exacerbated by our aging Hueys that have become uneconomical to maintain,” Secretary Lorenzana explained.

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The announcement comes as the Philippines looks to continue expanding their military capabilities.

In June 2021, the US State Department approved a foreign military sale to the government of the Philippines for F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft, AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Air Launched Block II Missiles, AIM-9X Sidewinder Block II Tactical Missiles and related equipment.

Accordingly, the government of the Philippines has requested to buy 10 F-16C Block 70/72 aircraft and two F-16D Block 70/72 aircraft.

Principal contractor Lockheed Martin will produce the F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$2.43 billion.

The proposed sale is expected to improve the Philippines’ capability to meet current and future threats by enabling its forces to deploy fighter aircraft with a short range air-to-air missile defence capability.

The government of the Philippines has also requested the purchase of 12 AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II air launched missiles; and two ATM-84L-1 Harpoon Block II Exercise missiles.

Boeing has been contracted to deliver the AGM-84L-1 Harpoon Air Launched Block II Missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of US$120 million.

[Related: US approves sale of F-16 aircraft, missiles to the Philippines]

Philippines bolsters Black Hawk fleet
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