Colombia's new S-70i Black Hawks inducted
Sikorsky has announced that the five new S-70i Black Hawk multi-mission helicopters delivered to the Colombian Army have been formally inducted into the force. The aircraft were accepted during an 11 February ceremony in Tolemaida attended by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon.
Colombia is the first South American country to buy the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter variant from Sikorsky. The five aircraft were custom-equipped for the special forces of the Colombian Army's Air Assault Division.
The aircraft have been fitted with a digital cockpit and advanced avionics, including a dual GPS/INS system with digital map that provides accurate navigation and enhanced situational awareness.
A team of Colombian pilots and maintainers received extensive training from Sikorsky to become familiar with the S-70i in the US before flying the five aircraft to the Army Special Operation Aviation Military base in Tolemaida, where they arrived on 30 January following 10 days of flight. The team also graduated instructor pilots and maintainers to train others in their unit.
The five S-70i aircraft join 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.
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