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Colombian Army takes delivery of five S-70i BLACK HAWKs


Sikorsky S-70i BLACK HAWK aircraft: Photo: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

STRATFORD, CONNECTICUT (BNS): The Colombian Army has formally inducted five new Sikorsky S-70i multi-mission helicopters into its fleet of BLACK HAWK aircraft.

Colombia is the first South American country to buy the S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter variant from Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.

The aircraft were accepted during an 11 February ceremony in Tolemaida attended by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp said in a statement.

Built at Sikorsky's aircraft manufacturing facility in Mielec, Poland, the five aircraft were custom-equipped in the United States for the Special Forces of the Colombian Army's Air Assault Division.

The system includes a dual GPS/INS system with digital map that provides accurate navigation and enhanced situational awareness.

The five S-70i aircraft joined a fleet of 96 UH-60L helicopters operated by the Colombian National Police, Colombian Air Force, and Colombian Army - accounting for the world's fourth-largest BLACK HAWK fleet.

Military forces in almost 30 countries operate more than 3,000 BLACK HAWK aircraft for a variety of missions, including troop transport and air assault, cargo lift, search and rescue, and VIP transport.

Sold directly by Sikorsky to international militaries and government agencies, the S-70i helicopter delivers the same power and lift performance as S-70M BLACK HAWK aircraft.

The S-70i model can be customized to specific mission needs, to include radar, ballistic protection, medical litters, extended range fuel tanks, an external rescue hoist, and cargo hook among other features.

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