Aerial Warfare

US State Department Approves Sale of UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters to Kosovo


US State Department Approves Sale of UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters to Kosovo

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

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Croatia of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and related equipment and services for an estimated cost of $500 million. The Government of Croatia has requested to buy 8 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters; 19 T700-GE 701D engines; 20 AN/ARC-231A RT-1987 very high frequency (VHF) / ultra high frequency (UHF) / Line of Sight (LOS) satellite communications (SATCOM) radios; 10 AN/AAR-57 Counter Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); 20 H-764U Embedded Global Position Systems with Inertial Navigation (EGI) and Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (or future replacement); and eighteen (18) M240H machine guns. The proposed sale will improve Croatia’s capability to deter current and future threats and support coalition operations as well as promote interoperability with the United States and other NATO forces. Croatia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces. The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky, in Stratford, CT. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.

Also included are: AN/ARC-231 RT-1808A (or future replacement) VHF/UHF/ LOS SATCOM radios; APR-39C(V)1/4 radar warning receivers; AVR-2B laser detecting sets; APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders (or future replacement); ARC-220 high frequency (HF) radio with KY-100M; VRC-100 ground stations; AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loader (SKL); KIV-77 Common Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) crypto applique computers; KY-100M; communications security (COMSEC) encryption devices AN/ARN-147(V) VHF Omni-Directional Range (VOR)/instrument landing system (ILS) receiver radio; AN/ARN-149(V) low frequency (LF)/automatic direction finder (ADF) radio receiver; AN/ARN-153 tactical air navigation system (TACAN) receiver-transmitter; AN/APN-209 radar altimeter; AN/ARC-210 radios; EBC-406HM emergency locator transmitter (ELT); Enhanced Ballistic Armor Protection Systems (EBAPS); Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tank Systems (IAFTS); Fast Rope Insertion & Extraction System (FRIES); External Rescue Hoist (ERH); rescue hoist equipment sets; Dual Patient Litter System (DPLS) Sets; Martin Baker palletized Crew Chief/Gunner seats with crashworthy floor structural modifications; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III Airlifter Delivers Two UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters to Croatia
U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III delivered two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters at Zagreb Airport, Croatia. (Photo by U.S. Embassy Zagreb)

The Republic of Croatia’s incorporation of U.S. Black Hawk helicopters builds upon previous and ongoing military cooperation, including Croatia’s upcoming acquisition of Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The Minnesota National Guard, through Croatia’s State Partnership Program with the U.S. State of Minnesota, is further supporting Croatian Black Hawk capabilities with military exchanges focused on best practices in operating Black Hawks in the field. Croatia’s first Black Hawk crew recently flew together with Minnesota National Guard counterparts to develop key operational skills. Defense partnership between the United States and Croatia remains a cornerstone of the U.S.-Croatia relationship, with U.S. military assistance to Croatia reaching four and a half billion Kuna in the form of training, equipment, infrastructure construction, and specialized military education. Since Croatia joined the NATO Alliance, the U.S. and Croatian soldiers have served shoulder-to-shoulder from Afghanistan to Poland to Kosovo. The United States government has delivered UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters worth 360 million Croatian kuna ($54.8 million) to Croatia, which is currently involved in a small arms race with neighboring Russian ally Serbia. With the arrival of the aircraft, US military assistance to Croatia has reached 4.5 billion kuna ($685 million) in equipment, training, and infrastructure construction.

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility military helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army’s Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition in 1972. The Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61. Named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk, the UH-60A entered service with the U.S. Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the Army’s tactical transport helicopter. This was followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations variants of the Black Hawk. Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility variants have also been developed. Modified versions have also been developed for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In addition to U.S. Army use, the UH-60 family has been exported to several nations.

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