The U.S. Department of Defense said on Tuesday, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., Stratford, Connecticut, was awarded a $525.4 million contract modification for work on 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the U.S. Army. Under the new deal, Sikorsky will produce 38 UH-60M Army aircraft and two UH-60M FMS green aircraft in Stratford, Conn., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2022. Under the new deal, Sikorsky will produce 38 UH-60M Army aircraft and two UH-60M FMS green aircraft in Stratford, Conn., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2022.
The new contract comes as a modification to a 2017 contract for production of Black Hawk helicopters for the Army and foreign military customers, specifically Saudi Arabia. The 2017 multi-year deal, chosen instead of five separate annual contracts, was meant to save the U.S. government money, according to the Lockheed Martin-owned Sikorsky. Sikorsky will produce 38 UH-60M Army aircraft and two UH-60M FMS green aircraft in Stratford, Conn., with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2022.
The multi-mission UH-60M is the latest in the Black Hawk helicopter family and is more capable, survivable, maintainable, powerful and effective than its predecessors. The UH-60M provides additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, better handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, improved survivability and improved performance using high-speed machined parts. The aircraft is the primary medium lift helicopter for the U.S. Army, performing a wide range of missions that encompass Air Assault, MEDEVAC, CSAR, Command and Control, and VIP transport.
In April 2001, the US Army approved an upgrade programme for more than 1,500 Black Hawks to UH-60M configuration. Sikorsky Aircraft developed eight UH-60Ms in the integration and qualification phase of the programme. The UH-60M made its first flight at the Sikorsky Flight Development Center, Florida, in September 2003. The Pentagon’s Defense Acquisition Board approved low-rate initial production (LRIP) of 22 new-build UH-60M aircraft in April 2005. In December 2007, the US Army and the Pentagon approved full-rate production of 1,227 new UH-60Ms and ordered 11 LRIP UH-60M upgrade helicopters. The US Army received a total of 200 UH-60Ms by mid-2010. The maiden flight of the UH-60M upgrade was held in August 2008.