Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk Utility Helicopter
Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk Utility Helicopter

Sikorsky Awarded $656 Million Contract for Australian UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, Stratford, Connecticut, was awarded a $656,774,666 modification to contract for UH-60M aircraft. Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, with an estimated completion date of June 30, 2027. 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. Fiscal 2010 Foreign Military Sales (Australia) funds in the amount of $656,774,666 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.

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.

Australian Defence Force MRH-90 Taipan Multi Role Helicopter
Australian Defence Force MRH-90 Taipan Multi Role Helicopter. (Photo by Australian Government Department of Defence)

The UH-60M Black Hawk will operate from Oakey, Queensland and Holsworthy, New South Wales 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 helicopter will support the deployment of our troops and their equipment where they are needed in times of crisis. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, MD.

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.

Australian Army’s 6th Aviation Regiment Black Hawk Utility Helicopter.
Australian Army’s 6th Aviation Regiment Black Hawk Utility Helicopter. (Photo by CPL Dustin Anderson/Australian Government Department of Defence)

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