LONDON – The Australian Government will acquire 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Australian Army.
Head Land Capability Major General Jeremy King, CSM, 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,” Major General 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.
Australian industry will be involved in logistic support, warehousing services, training development and engineering services, as well in the aircraft’s global supply chain.
This will not only support the capability, but also maximise Australian industry participation, laying a foundation for future helicopter industry growth across the service life of the helicopter.
Delivery of the Black Hawk helicopters will commence this year.
Lockheed Martin responds
Lockheed Martin Australia welcomed the Australian Department of Defence’s announcement on the acquisition of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters.
As part of project LAND 4507-1, Australia will acquire 40 UH-60M Black Hawks for the Army via a Foreign Military Sale from the United States Government.
Lockheed Martin Australia Chief Executive Warren McDonald welcomed the UH-60M Black Hawk capability acquisition decision, saying:
“The UH-60M Black Hawk is a tough, reliable and proven utility helicopter. 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.”
Lockheed Martin’s company, Sikorsky Australia, has been supporting the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopter fleets for over 30 years.
Sikorsky has also supported the growth of Australia’s sovereign industrial base and sustainment workforce in regional Australia to support the ADF’s rotary-wing mission.
“The addition of the UH-60M to the ADF fleet will generate positive economic opportunities for Australian Defence Industry across jobs creation, global supply chains and sovereign partnerships with regional small to medium enterprises,” said Mr McDonald.
“We welcome the opportunity to support the ADF’s rotary-wing mission to safeguard Australia’s national interests,” he concluded.