The RBAF Support Helicopter Project Hit Several Major Milestones
POLAND, Tuesday 26 June 2012 - On 2 December 2011, the Ministry of Defence, Brunei Darussalam (MINDEF) signed a contract with Sikorsky International Operations, Inc. for the delivery of twelve (12) S-70i™ BLACK HAWK helicopters with spare parts, ground support equipment and training package. To date, the project has achieved several major milestones which include the completion of several design reviews and the completion of several baseline aircraft built in PZL Mielec, Poland. PZL Mielec, a Sikorsky company, which is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp, produces the S-70i™ baseline BLACK HAWK helicopter which is the latest international variant of the UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopter employed by the US Army.
A team from MINDEF recently conducted a site visit to the PZL Mielec facility in Poland to witness the factory acceptance test for Brunei’s third baseline S-70i™ BLACK HAWK helicopter. The first two baseline aircraft recently completed its factory acceptance tests in Poland in April 2012. The first aircraft is scheduled to be inducted to Sikorsky Military Completions Center (SMCC) in the United States on October 2012 for the start of customization work to produce the uniquely configured aircraft that meets the Royal Brunei Armed Forces requirements. The delivery of the twelve (12) S-70i™ BLACK HAWK helicopters will replace the current fleet of Bell 212 helicopters and enhance the Royal Brunei Air Force’s rotary wing capabilities in air mobility, Search and Rescue (SAR) and enhance surveillance of Brunei’s waters and borders. The delivery of these advanced new aircrafts will also allow the Royal Brunei Armed Forces to further strengthen its troop deployment capabilities in military and humanitarian and disaster relief operations in the region.
The first batch of the uniquely configured aircraft is expected to be delivered to Brunei in early 2014.