STRATFORD, Conn., Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The Mexican state of Jalisco has acquired Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.'s S-70i Black Hawk helicopter, the newest variant of the military utility aircraft.
Jalisco state police will deploy the aircraft for general law enforcement with initial aircraft operation anticipated during October's XVI Pan American Games.
"An aircraft of this quality and value is a big investment for a state," said Luis Carlos Najera Gutierrez de Velasco, secretary of public security of Jalisco. "The functionality and performance of this S-70i helicopter means that Jalisco now has a new and valuable tool to support our policing in the region."
Designed specifically for the international marketplace, the S-70i helicopter is manufactured at Sikorsky's production facility in Mielec, Poland. The delivery to Jalisco marks the fourth successful export of an S-70i aircraft from PZL Mielec in 60 days.
Sikorsky said the S-70i aircraft arrived in Guadalajara on Sept. 18 less than four months after the state placed the order.
The Jalisco's S-70i helicopter is the 20th Black Hawk aircraft operational in Mexico. The Mexican air force, the Mexican navy and federal police operate a total of 19 UH-60L and UH-60M Black Hawks acquired since the mid 1990s. Sikorsky expects to deliver another three UH-60Ms to the federal police by early 2012.
The S-70i aircraft delivers the same power and lift performance as UH-60Ms, which are operated in large numbers by the U.S. Army. The S-70i utility aircraft version can typically weigh 800-1,000 pounds lighter than the fully equipped UH60M.