Sikorsky-Mielec Black Hawk S-70i. 2021.

Kraków 2021-11-13

Black Hawk in the Polish Police. 2021.

Black Hawk registration SP-YVM. 2021. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Black Hawk registration SP-YVM. 2021. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Description of the photo: Black Hawk No. 75 produced by Sikorski - Mielec, with temporary registration SP-YVM intended for the Philippines.

On May 30, 2018, a contract was signed for the purchase of two Sikorsky S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the Polish Police. In the presence of the Minister of the Interior and Administration, Joachim Brudziński, the contract for the purchase of machines was signed by the Chief Commander of the Police, Superintendent Jarosław Szymczyk. The helicopters purchased by the Police are intended for landing and transport tasks. They are used in activities carried out by the Bureau of Anti-Terrorist Operations, as well as in all other tasks performed by the Police. The police informed that the helicopters will also be used in the event of natural disasters and to search for missing persons.

The tender was conducted not openly. The first information was disclosed only in April 2018 and it was unofficial. The Police helicopters became famous on April 16, 2018, when the Lockheed Martin company posted an advertisement for work on servicing S-70i helicopters of the Polish Police on its official website in the USA. On April 21, 2018, Airbus Helicopters officially announced its willingness to participate in the tender.

On July 4, 2018, the Police disclosed the price of the contract, which totaled PLN 142.66 million. The helicopters were bought "free-hand" as urgent needs of national defense. Airbus Helicopters filed the appeal, but the National Board of Appeal rejected it. It seems that the Police have found an effective way to acquire the equipment necessary for Poland. After signing the contract, approval from the US Congress was waited for, which turned out to be a formality.

In the US, Black Hawk helicopters are used by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The US State Police uses smaller machines, but is backed by the National Guard, which has Black Hawk helicopters, for serious actions. Black Hawk helicopters have the Police of such countries as: Turkey, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, and now also Poland. Black Hawk helicopters are used in 31 countries and more than 3,000 have been produced.

On November 30, 2018 (Friday), in the presence of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Mr. Joachim Brudziński, two S-70i Black Hawk helicopters were officially handed over to the Police. The ceremony was attended by Janusz Zakręcki, President of the Management Board of PZL Mielec. The handover ceremony was held at the Bemowo Airport in Warsaw. The air force unit of the Police is stationed at the Bemowo Airport (Babice). This airport is the seat of the Police Aviation Board of the General Police Staff of the Police Headquarters, which also exercises substantive supervision over the Police Aviation Sections located at the Provincial Police Headquarters in: Łódź, Kraków, Poznań, Szczecin and Wrocław. The head of the government, Mateusz Morawiecki, recalled that earlier the Police usually received helicopters that were previously used for the needs of other formations, primarily the Polish Army. He also emphasized that the new Black Hawk helicopters are machines manufactured in Poland in Mielec. Mr. Joachim Brudziński added that it was the last call for the replacement of 40-year-old equipment and now we have nothing to be ashamed of. At that time (2018), the Police had 11 helicopters. The youngest was 11 years old and the oldest 47 years old. And there was a time when only one helicopter was operational!

At that time, three more helicopters of the same type had already been ordered. Their delivery was planned for 2019. The third helicopter was planned to be delivered in March 2019.

In the first year of service, eight pilots and ten technical staff, including five flight technicians, were trained. The flight technician is the third crew member. At that time, two pilots with instructor certificates were trained.

Black Hawk is a helicopter that allowed the Police to undertake tasks that were previously beyond the reach of the previous equipment. Even beyond the range of distance or speed. Helicopter crews are thrilled with the capabilities of Black Hawk helicopters. The helicopter is ready for flight in less than 10 minutes. The range of the helicopter allows you to reach any place in Poland within two hours.

Third Black Hawk helicopter.

The contract for the acquisition of the third helicopter was signed on November 19, 2018, at the headquarters of Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze in Mielec. The contract was signed by the Police Commander in Chief, Gen. Dr. Jarosław Szymczyk and CEO, President of the Management Board of PZL Mielec Janusz Zakręcki.

On April 26, 2019, the handover ceremony of the third Black Hawk helicopter intended for the Polish Police took place at Bemowo Airport. The helicopter was delivered with a logistics and training package for PLN 64 million. The third police Black Hawk received SN-72XP registration.

More helicopters will be purchased after the comparative assessment of Black Hawk helicopters with the Bell 407 GXi, which was also purchased (2019) for the Police. Police have so far received three Bell 407 GXi helicopters.

Tasks of the Black Hawk police helicopters.

Over the last three years, there have been many tasks for the police Black Hawk helicopters. The first months were spent on glazing helicopter crews and anti-terrorist police units. Glazing was carried out in Warsaw and on training grounds. Drilling platforms installed in the Baltic Sea and the Torpedownia facility in Zatoka Pucka were also used. The police also cooperate with GOPR rescuers and firefighters of the State Fire Service from a specialized group of high-altitude rescue: whom they get acquainted with the specificity of the landing using Black Hawk helicopters.

In April 2020, Black Hawk helicopters participated in patrolling Polish cities due to epidemic restrictions introduced in Poland in connection with the Chinese Virus epidemic.

In 2021, the Black Hawk helicopter took part in "Action Heart". The crew transported the organs for transplant to the patient, covering a distance of nearly 500 km.

In August 2021, one Black Hawk helicopter was dispatched to Turkey. The helicopter and a team of 14 firefighters were sent at the request of the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda. The helicopter took part in extinguishing fires that ravaged the Turkish forests at that time. The helicopter crew supported rescue and firefighting activities. The Polish helicopter had a 1,500 liter or 3,000 liter Bambi Bucket suspended water tank under the fuselage.

Data T-T S-70i Black Hawk:

Main rotor diameter 16.36 m. Length with the rotor working 19.76 m. Two T-700-GE-701D turbine engines, 2,000 HP (1,471 kW). Maximum take-off weight 9,979 kg. Cruising speed 296 km / h. Range without additional fuel tanks 578 km. Operating ceiling of 5,800 m.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman