Philippines receive offer for additional Black Hawk helicopters as alternative to Chinooks

Black Hawk helicopters. Photo c/o PZL Mielec.

The Philippines was offered to purchase 13 to 14 new Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters by the United States to replace an earlier deal for 16 Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopters from Russia that was cancelled back in June 2022.


The offer for Black Hawk is the second offer made by the US government, which earlier offered the Boeing CH-47F Chinook heavy lift helicopters as alternative to the Russian ones.


This was confirmed by Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez to lawmakers.


Ambassador Romualdez said the US offered between 13 to 14 Black Hawk helicopters to fit the budget set by the Philippine Air Force for its Heavy Lift Helicopter Acquisition Project.


Although not much information were provided, Philippine defense page MaxDefense Philippines mentioned that the offer is to give the PAF options of either getting larger, more expensive helicopters like the CH-47F Chinook but in limited numbers, or to procure more but smaller helicopters like the S-70 / UH-60 Black Hawk.


Due to the higher price of the CH-47F Chinook, it is expected that only between 4 to 5 helicopters can fit the PAF’s budget, which may not be enough considering Russia offered to sell 16 Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopters, and even made a commitment to probably provide an extra helicopter as part of the contract.


The Philippines Department of National Defense was reported to have cancelled a contract with Russia’s Sovetechnoexport for the sale of Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopters for the PAF due to fear of sanctions from CAATSA.


A contract was signed back in late 2021, only to be cancelled in June 2022, under instructions from the Philippines’ former president Rodrigo Duterte.


 The PAF already has 15 S-70i Black Hawk combat utility helicopters in service, and has 32 more units ordered from Sikorsky’s Polish subsidiary PZL Mielec. The PAF also has an older S-70A Black Hawk acquired in the 1980s, and is used as a Search and Rescue helicopter.


Meanwhile, the PAF does not have any helicopters larger than the Black Hawk, and was hoping that the Heavy Lift Helicopter Acquisition Project would give the service a larger helicopter and bringing in new capabilities including transporting larger or heavier payloads.




[1] Manila Times

[2] MaxDefense Philippines

[3] Aerotime Hub


Philippines receive offer for additional Black Hawk helicopters as alternative to Chinooks Philippines receive offer for additional Black Hawk helicopters as alternative to Chinooks Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on September 02, 2022 Rating: 5

1 comment