A deal has been agreed between Australian and United States governments for a foreign military sale of 40 UH-60Ms, designed and manufactured by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, for the Australian Army, valued at approximately $1.95 billion.
The UH-60M Black Hawks will replace Australia’s current non-Black Hawk multi-role helicopter fleet with a more reliable and proven system. Deliveries are expected to begin early this year.
Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo, said: “The multi-mission UH-60M Black Hawk provides the Australian Army with critical capabilities that will strengthen Australia’s readiness, interoperability and security for decades to come. We continue to invest in Black Hawk modernization to provide operators with the competitive edge they require to counter and deter threats today and in future Joint All-Domain Operations.”
Nathalie Previte, Sikorsky’s vice president of Army and Air Force programs, added: “We have proudly sustained Australia’s Black Hawk fleet for decades. This experience coupled with Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky’s investment in our Australian team and local facilities strongly positions us to support the Australian Army’s operational and maintenance needs.”
In 2022, the US Government awarded Sikorsky its tenth multi-year production contract to build Black Hawks for the US Army and international militaries. The next generation aircraft will be in operation for the next several decades and alongside future fleets.
According to Lockheed Martin, the Black Hawk is unmatched for durability, survivability, multi-role versatility, affordability, and interoperability, and has proven to be a dependable battlefield and special forces aviation asset for Australia and 34 other countries around the globe.
Lockheed Martin sees strong international interest in the Black Hawk and continues to invest in the platform, from sustainment to digital transformation and modernization, to provide militaries with the competitive edge required today and in the future.
Previte commented: “Investments are aligned with the Black Hawk’s largest operator, the U.S. Army, and their technology roadmap, while leveraging Future Vertical Lift technologies to ensure the Black Hawk will be a key player in the Joint All Domain Operations environment and FVL ecosystem.”
The UH-60M helicopter culminates decades of technological advancement, improved performance and real-world operational experience. Digital avionics and autopilot reduce pilot workload while enhancing situational awareness and improving survivability.
Previte adds: “We are confident that the Black Hawk, which is designed and built to meet the rigorous requirements of the U.S. military, is the most capable platform and the right choice to help fulfill the Australian Army’s rotary wing needs and that of our existing and future customers.”