Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters
Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk medium-lift utility helicopter

Australian Government to Order 40 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters

The Australian Government will acquire 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Australian Army. This was an important acquisition which will meet the strategic needs of the Australian Army. The Black Hawk will operate from Oakey, QLD and Holsworthy, NSW, supported by a highly skilled, blended maintenance workforce including Australian industry contractors. Australian industry will be involved in logistic support, warehousing services, training development and engineering services, as well in the aircraft’s global supply chain. Delivery of the Black Hawk helicopters will commence this year.

“The Black Hawk capability will be a crucial element for us to protect Australia’s sovereignty, and deliver foreign policy objectives, including providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The Black Hawk will support the deployment of our troops and their equipment where they are needed in times of crisis. The Black Hawk is a reliable, proven and mature platform supported by a robust global supply chain. This acquisition will mean we can continue to defend Australia and respond in times of need in a safe and effective way for years to come,” Head Land Capability Major General Jeremy King, CSM said.

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The Government of Australia has requested to buy 40 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters; 88 T700-GE 701D engines; 44 AN/AAR-57 Counter Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); and 96 H-764U Embedded Global Position Systems with Inertial Navigation (EGI) and Country Unique SAASM (or future replacement). The proposed sale will replace Australia’s current multi-role helicopter fleet with a more reliable and proven system that will allow Australia to maintain the appropriate level of readiness to conduct combined operations. The UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter will improve the Australian Army’s ability to deploy combat power to share Australia’s strategic environment, deter actions against its interests.

Australia ordered fourteen S-70A-9 Black Hawks in 1986 and an additional twenty-five Black Hawks in 1987. The first US produced Black Hawk was delivered in 1987 to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). de Havilland Australia produced thirty-eight Black Hawks under license from Sikorsky in Australia delivering the first in 1988 and the last in 1991. On 10 December 2021, the S-70A-9 Black Hawks were retired from service. On the same day, amid issues with the performance of the MRH-90s the government announced that they would be replaced by up to 40 UH-60M Black Hawks. UH-60M Black Hawk is an improved design wide chord rotor blades, engines, improved durability gearbox, computer, and new glass cockpit.

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