Sikorsky-Mielec Black Hawk S-70i. 2019. - History
328a Section 2019-12-20
Sikorsky-Mielec Black Hawk S-70i
Black Hawk for Special Forces.
Sikorski claims that interest in the armed Black Hawk helicopter in the world is high. This is due to the escalation of the Islamic State's struggle. The countries concerned have Black Hawk helicopters on their armament, but the unarmed versions. PZL Mielec can count on greater participation in the development of armed Black Hawk, if Poland chooses this helicopter for the Polish Armed Forces. Polish armed Black Hawk would be tested at the training ground in Nowa Dęba, Poland.
At the beginning of July 2016, an armed Black Hawk from Mielec was presented at the Air Show in English Farnborough. Then helicopters took part in Anakonda 16 exercises in Poland.
On July 27, 2016, armed Black Hawk was officially presented. The president of PZL Mielec Janusz Zakręcki noted that Black Hawk in its armed version is a great opportunity for export for the Mielec company. In his opinion, both existing customers who already have Black Hawk helicopters and new users who will replace old machines with modern helicopters will be interested in such a product.
The Black Hawk avionics system recognizes itself what the machine has suspended from the hooks and helps the pilot to steer. Black Hawk is not afraid of dust or moisture, and this is important on military missions. This helicopter is like a chameleon and can be quickly prepared for a specific mission.
Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Mielec produce S-70i Black Hawk helicopters. So far 39 machines and over 300 cabins of these helicopters have been built. The Mielec factory employs over 1,500 employees, and the Lockheed Martin Group employs 126,000 employees worldwide. PZL Mielec is the largest Lockheed Martin plant outside the United States.
Black Hawk S-70i for Special Forces.
At the end of 2016, several declarations were made by the government regarding the acquisition of new machines. Among others, the Ministry of National Defense declared the purchase of 10 Black Hawk helicopters from Mielec (2 units in 2016 and 8 units in 2017) for Special Forces. To increase the chance of finalizing the contract, the Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz made all activities in this case confidential. Despite this, the proceedings conducted in "absolute confidentiality, for orders of fundamental importance for the security of the state", were blocked by Freemasonry.
In 2017, two proceedings were launched for the purchase of helicopters for the Navy and Special Forces. The problem is that the change in the position of the Minister of National Defense on January 9, 2018 did not serve to maintain the liquidity of proceedings.
In 2018, the Armament Inspectorate conducted procedures for the purchase of 8 machines for Special Forces and the same number of ZOP (anti-submarine) machines with the possibility of performing rescue missions in combat conditions for the Navy (CSAR). On January 18, 2017, the Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz informed that the purchase of helicopters as part of an urgent operational need would include eight machines for Special Forces and eight for the Navy (16 in total). The forecasts that the contract (s) will be concluded in less than a year and the first machines will be in mid-2018 at the latest were unrealistic. Not because there was no will, but because business systems are still functioning.
At the beginning of March 2018, a correction was made at WTT. It was about making the delivery times for new helicopters more realistic, as well as the issues of inspections, servicing and repairs.
Special Forces is almost a Polish specialty. We have five special units. It is likely that the purchase of helicopters specifically for these formations is due to commitments made under specific arrangements in NATO. Black Hawk (consortium of Sikorsky and PZL Mielec), AW.101 (PZL Świdnik) and H225 Caracal (consortium of Airbus Helicopters and Heli Ivest) were proposed.
On January 25, 2019, Friday, a contract was signed for the supply of four Black Hawk helicopters for Special Forces. According to the assurances of the head of the Ministry of National Defense, Mariusz Blaszczak, this is the first party. The helicopters were manufactured at PZL Mielec, which has belonged to Americans since 2007, and has been owned by Lockheed Martin since 2015.
"The proceedings were conducted in negotiations with one contractor, in accordance with Decision No. 367 / MON of the Minister of National Defense of September 14, 2015 regarding the principles and procedure for awarding contracts of fundamental importance to national security at the Ministry of National Defense. This solution allows The Act of 29 January 2004 - Public Procurement Law "- informed the Ministry of Defense.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak and president of PZL Mielec Janusz Zakręcki. The company PZL Mielec is responsible for the delivery of the machines. The helicopters will be delivered by December 2019. The contract value is PLN 683.4 million gross. The price includes a logistics package, comprehensive training of pilots and technical staff as well as retrofitting machines with specialized equipment for Special Forces. Special equipment for ordered helicopters is classified information.
Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak said - "This is an important day. The Polish Army bought Black Hawk, helicopters tested. ”He emphasized that this was a structure chosen by over 20 countries, also tested in combat conditions, among others in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also took part in the contract signing ceremony. The Prime Minister emphasized that - "Through this type of shopping, Poland strengthens not only the NATO alliance and the security of the Polish sky, but also Polish industry. It is a combination of a development strategy and a strategy to ensure security. Let these "black hawks" Black Hawk guard the Polish sky."
Without a doubt, the weakest part of the contract is the number of machines ordered. In 2017, the United Right Government talked about buying 8 machines.
The first four Black Hawk International multi-purpose helicopters are to hit the 7th Special Action Squadron stationed at the 33rd Transport Aviation Base in Powidz. The 7th Special Action Squadron was formed in 2010. 7. EDS helicopters are used to conduct air operations for Special Forces such as landing troops, air reconnaissance and fire support. Currently, it is equipped with transport Mi-17 and Mi-17-1W.
Delivery of the first four Black Hawk S-70i helicopters for the Polish Army. 2019.
On December 20, 2019, the handover ceremony of four armed helicopters for Special Forces took place at the 1st Transport Aviation Base at Okęcie Airport in Warsaw. The ceremony was attended by Polish President Andrzej Duda, US Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher, Minister of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak, President of PZL Mielec Janusz Zakręcki.
President Andrzej Duda emphasized, "Black Hawk helicopters are well known and tested to us. He added that our soldiers "repeatedly had the opportunity in different parts of the world, while performing their tasks and during exercise, to use those helicopters that are in the state of the allied army, primarily in the state of the United States army. Today, these helicopters, which are also very important to us, manufactured in Mielec, manufactured in cooperation with a large company from the United States, but manufactured by Polish employees in the Aviation Valley, are becoming part of the equipment of the Polish Special Forces."
"Soldiers of the Polish Special Forces deserve the best equipment, such equipment is entering service today" - said the head of the Ministry of National Defense Mariusz Błaszczak.
PZL Mielec president Janusz Zakręcki said - "Black Hawk helicopters are already operational today, but this is not their final configuration. They will be retrofitted in the near future. ”Currently, helicopters are in the first version and are intended mainly for training.
Black Hawk helicopters are equipped with a rope landing system and winches, 12.7 mm M3 machine guns and M134 7.62 mm M134 Minigun multi-barrel rifles. They have mounted communication radios with the encryption system (coded communication and data transmission system).
Helicopter components such as: optoelectronic head, self-defense system, flare ejectors will be installed in the second stage.
Written by Karol Placha Hetman