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Australia confirms Black Hawk purchase

The Australian Government has today confirmed it will acquire 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to replace the Australian Army’s troubled fleet of NH Industries MRH 90 Taipan helicopters.

As part of project Land 4507-1, Australia will acquire the Sikorsky Black Hawks via a Foreign Military Sale from the United States Government for an estimated $2.8 billion. Australia first requested to buy the helicopters in mid-2022.

Head Land Capability Major General Jeremy King said this was an important acquisition which will meet the strategic needs of the Australian Army.

“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,” MAJGEN King said.

“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.”

The Black Hawk will operate from Oakey, QLD and Holsworthy, NSW, supported by a ‘highly skilled, blended maintenance workforce’ including Australian industry contractors, Defence said in a press release.

Australian industry will be involved in logistic support, warehousing services, training development and engineering services, as well in the aircraft’s global supply chain.

Sikorsky Australia, a Lockheed Martin company, has been sustaining the ADF’s Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopter fleets for over 30 years.

“The UH-60M Black Hawk is a tough, reliable and proven utility helicopter,” Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive Warren McDonald said. “Australia’s acquisition of the Black Hawk reinforces our nation’s enduring military interoperability with the US and allied nations.

“The Black Hawk will enhance future joint operations and the ongoing protection of Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.”

Delivery of the Black Hawk helicopters will commence this year.

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