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Chilean Air Force to buy six S-70i Black Hawk helicopters

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S-70i Black Hawk helicopter. Photo: Sikorsky (Lockheed Martin)

STRATFORD, CONNECTICUT (BNS): The Chilean Air Force (Fuerza Aérea de Chile) will purchase six S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the service's medium-lift helicopter recapitalization program.

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, has successfully concluded contract negotiations with the Chilean Air Force to produce the helicopters, a Company statement said.

When delivered in 2018, the new helicopters will fulfill Chile's requirement to perform both military and humanitarian missions, such as troop transport, search and rescue, and disaster relief.

"We are very pleased that the Fuerza Aérea de Chile has chosen the multirole Black Hawk helicopter following an intensive review of competing platforms," said Adam Schierholz, Sikorsky regional executive for Latin America.

"The Black Hawk platform will perform for Chile as a highly reliable and safe utility helicopter that can be quickly configured for a range of missions."

The program includes the acquisition of a logistical support package that will cover spare parts, pilots and maintenance specialists training, on-site technical assistance and ground support equipment.

Built to a robust military design, the Black Hawk family of helicopters is renowned for its reliability in harsh weather and under tough operational conditions, including at high altitudes and in hot temperatures.

The Fuerza Aérea de Chile announced its decision in August to procure the six S-70i helicopters from Sikorsky as a direct commercial sale. The service has operated one S-70A Black Hawk aircraft since 1998.

The six new aircraft will bring the total number of Black Hawk helicopters operated by Chile and four other Latin American countries to more than 140.

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