The most recent armed version of the S70/UH-60 Helicopter is the Black Hawk or S-70i Helicopter

According to Reuters, the Philippines is purchasing 32 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Poland-based Sikorsky Aircraft subsidiary PZL Mielec to beef up its existing fleet of 15, the country’s defence chief said on Sunday, as it seeks to boost its disaster response capabilities.

The contract will come with logistical support and a training package for pilots and maintenance crews at a cost of 32 billion pesos ($624 million). It is expected that the first 5 units will be delivered in 2023. The remaining ones will be delivered in 2024, 2025 and 2026, respectively.

S-70i Helicopter or Black Hawk is the latest armed version of the S70/UH-60 Helicopter. The weαpσns System can be bought along with a new aircraft or as a Kit that can be retrofitted to existing Black Hawk Helicopters. The weαpσns System can be manually installed or removed as needed within 3 hours. The major parts of the Kit includes an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) system, External Stores Support System (ESSS) and the weαpσns themselves.

The helicopter has a maximum gross weight of 9.9 tons and can carry two crew members and up to 13 troops. The reliable crash-worthy airframe design of the S-70i integrates a machined cabin structure and a single-piece cockpit assembly. The structure can resist small-arms fire and high-explosive projectiles.

The helicopter is powered by two T700-GE701D turboshaft engines, each develops a maximum power of 1,447kW. The helicopter can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 277km/h and has a maximum range of 459km with no reserve. The service ceiling is 13,200ft. The rugged landing gear allows the landing and take-off from virtually any unprepared terrain.

The S-70i Black Hawk is in service in Brunei, Colombia, Chile, Poland, and the Philippines. In addition to the 32 new helicopters, earlier this month the Philippines also received the first batch of T129 tactical reconnaissance and attack helicopters from Turkey. This will be a significant boost for the country’s armed forces.

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