By Jack Beringer, The Chicago Times
February 04, 2023
STRATFORD, CT – Australia announced Friday it will acquire 40 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks from Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin company. The deal between the Australian and United States governments is expected to be worth about $1.95 billion with deliveries to begin early this year.
“The multi-mission UH-60M Black Hawk provides the Australian Army with critical capabilities that will strengthen Australia’s readiness, interoperability and security for decades to come,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “We continue to invest in Black Hawk modernization to provide operators with the competitive edge they require to counter and deter threats today and in future Joint All-Domain Operations.”
The UH-60M Black Hawks is expected to replace Australia’s current non-Black Hawk helicopter fleet.
“We have proudly sustained Australia’s Black Hawk fleet for decades. This experience coupled with Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky’s investment in our Australian team and local facilities strongly positions us to support the Australian Army’s operational and maintenance needs.” said Nathalie Previte, Sikorsky’s vice president of Army and Air Force programs.
According to Sikorsky: “the Black Hawk is unmatched for durability, survivability, multi-role versatility, affordability and interoperability, and has proven to be a dependable battlefield and special forces aviation asset for Australia and 34 other countries around the globe.”
The UH-60M helicopter is said to be the culmination of decades of technological advancement, improved performance and real-world operational experience.
The US Army recently announced that it has picked the Bell V-280 to replace the Black Hawk within the next ten years.