Aerial Warfare

Albanian Ministry of Defence Receives Two UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters

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Albanian Ministry of Defence Receives Two UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters

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Albanian Ministry of Defence Receives Two UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters
Albanian Ministry of Defence Receives Two UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters

Albanian Ministry of Defence recently welcomed the arrival of two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters at the Farka Air Base, with funding assistance from the United States. The event was attended by Minister of Defense Niko Peleshi, the charge d’affaires of the US Embassy in Tirana, David Wisner, and Chief of the General Staff of the FA Major General Arben Kingji. Minister Peleshi expressed gratitude for the support received from the United States, emphasizing the helicopters’ arrival as a crucial enhancement to Albania’s operational capacities, particularly in relation to its NATO commitments. Originally set to receive three Black Hawks, the revised number of two was confirmed in 2021 by US Lieutenant Colonel Erol Munir. The United States is contributing USD 50 million in funding assistance to back this acquisition, highlighting the strong partnership between the two nations.

Delivered aboard a US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifter, the helicopters were transferred to Rinas Air Base, near Tirana.
Delivered aboard a US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifter, the helicopters were transferred to Rinas Air Base, near Tirana.(Photo by Albanian Ministry of Defence)

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are renowned for their versatility in medium-lift utility operations, including medical evacuation, personnel recovery, search and rescue missions, and NATO logistics support. Equipped with four blades and two engines, these helicopters are designed to meet the diverse needs of modern military forces. Albania now joins the ranks of Balkan nations utilizing the UH-60 Black Hawk, following NATO members Croatia, Greece, Romania, and Turkey. Additionally, Kosovo has shown interest in acquiring this highly capable helicopter, underlining its reputation as a preferred choice for modern military operations. As Albania continues to strengthen its military capabilities, the arrival of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters not only signifies a significant step forward but also reaffirms the country’s commitment to regional security and cooperation with its NATO allies.

Minister of Defense Niko Peleshi were at the Farka Air Base, where he closely saw the two Black Hawk helicopters arriving recently in Albania.
Minister of Defense Niko Peleshi were at the Farka Air Base, where he closely saw the two Black Hawk helicopters arriving recently in Albania.(Photo by Albanian Ministry of Defence)

Janes reported that Albanian Ministry of Defence plans to deploy the UH-60s in various roles, including utility, tactical transport, fast-roping, and aerial firefighting. This strategic move aims to allow Albanian crews to accumulate crucial flight hours and experience in anticipation of additional helicopter acquisitions of the same type. The newly acquired Black Hawks will integrate into Albania’s existing military helicopter fleet, which includes seven Agusta-Bell AB206C-1s, five Agusta-Bell AB205A-1s, one Agusta A109C, eight Bölkow-Blom Bo.105E-4s, as well as three Airbus Helicopters EC145 and four AS532AL Cougar helicopters. This addition marks a substantial enhancement of Albania’s aerial capabilities, aligning with its defense and NATO operation commitments.

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