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PZL Mielec aims new weapons pylon at Black Hawk users

PZL Mielec used the MSPO show in Kielce to unveil its Wasp product – an armed pylon station update for Sikorsky’s UH-60/S-70i Black Hawk family.

Designed and built by Polish engineers, the single-station pylon can be mounted without structural modifications to the rotorcraft. It has been created as a lighter and cheaper alternative to Sikorsky’s dual-station external stores support system (ESSS).

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Lockheed Martin

The company’s exhibit featured an S-70i with door-mounted M134 miniguns, Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire and JAGM air-to-surface missiles and an FN Herstal M3M 12.7mm door gun. Other options include the Polish-developed WKM-Bm 12.7mm machine gun, Hydra 70 rocket launcher, Elbit Systems Spike-family air-to-air surface missiles and GATR laser-guided rockets, or external fuel tanks.

Joe Palumbo, Sikorsky’s director for international military programmes, says Wasp is being offered to Black Hawk operators in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions, and possibly also central and eastern Europe.

“We have a lot interest from many different countries,” Palumbo says, adding that PZL Mielec can supply Wasp pylons within six months, compared with a two-year wait for ESSS.

PZL Mielec president and general director Janusz Zakrecki says the company can offer customers a complete weapons suite for the Black Hawk, potentially including locally-built Spike missiles.

Airworthiness flight testing will take place during 2020, says Sikorsky parent Lockheed Martin.