Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Philippine Air Force’s operational readiness has greatly benefited from the arrival of new Black Hawk choppers. 

In a Facebook post on Saturday (May 23), Lorenzana shared that the addition of six of these new aircraft will give the PAF an advantage when it comes to combat and non-combat missions.

Lorenzana mentioned that these carriers are equipped with stronger engines designed for efficient long-range transport and will accommodate a larger passenger load. 

“Since their acquisition, our Black Hawk S-70is have greatly boosted the operational readiness of the PAF in both combat and non-combat missions. Their larger capacity and impressive horsepower allows for a faster and long-range transport,” he outlined. 

According to the defense secretary, 10 more units are expected to arrive in the country. Five of these are set to be delivered sometime in July and another batch in September courtesy of Polish manufacturer PZL Mielec, a subsidiary of US arms company Lockheed Martin.

“Five helicopters will be delivered in July and five more in September,” Lorenzana told Philippine Star.

The Black Hawk helicopters are set to replace the Vietnam War-era Huey choppers the air force is still using.

Lorenzana mentioned that the choppers are being used to deliver COVID-10 vaccines to provinces.

The acquisition of these new helicopters is under the second phase of Horizon 2, a program that aims to modernize all branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Early this April, the national government signed an agreement with Poland for the procurement of arms and military equipment. 

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Image credit: Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s Official Facebook Page