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05:36 AM, June 15, 2016
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Weaponized Version of Polish Black Hawk Helicopter To Debut At NATO Exercise
Weaponized Version of Polish Black Hawk Helicopter To Debut At NATO Exercise. Image credits: Military Aircraft

A weaponized version of Sikorsky's Polish-built S-70i BLACK HAWK helicopter will be on display at the 'Anaconda 2016' NATO exercises in Drawko Pomorskie, Poland this week.

Representative of how a future European-built BLACK HAWK helicopter could be configured for the armed mission, the display is designed to showcase the ease by which the proven multi-role helicopter could be adapted to meet the defense needs of Poland and other NATO allies.

Featuring a selection of latest-generation NATO missiles, rockets, guns and a targeting sensor, the aircraft on display will underpin how PZL Mielec, a Sikorsky company, could meet the region's requirement for a multi-purpose, combat proven helicopter that can defend itself or perform an armed assault mission in support of ground troops — in addition to carrying troops and cargo, providing combat search and rescue, customs and border protection, marine surveillance and coast guard operations.

"Lockheed Martin is exploring additional ways to add advanced offensive weapons technology to Sikorsky's multi-role BLACK HAWK helicopter," said Janusz Zakręcki, President PZL Mielec. "Our goal is to provide militaries with the flexibility to quickly convert their Sikorsky aircraft into a weaponized platform to meet our customer's needs."

The BLACK HAWK helicopter's open systems architecture will enable Lockheed Martin to integrate onto the platform those armaments currently in the inventory of potential export customers, including the Polish armed forces. New-generation sensors and weapons also could be integrated when they become available.

The PZL Mielec-built BLACK HAWK helicopter's appearance in Drawsko Pomorskie comes ahead of its air show debut at the Farnborough International Air Show in Hampshire, U.K. from July 11-17.

The US Army BLACK HAWK helicopters have taken part in the Anaconda training exercises. The aircraft also is well known to the Polish armed forces from their recent deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

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