The Bahrain Defence Force has taken delivery of the first of nine UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Royal Bahrain Air Force from Sikorsky Aircraft.

The air force will use the UH-60M in military operations, and to protect its sovereign borders and strategic facilities of the US and coalition forces.

Designed for the US Army requirement, the UH-60M helicopter with twin-engine and medium-lift utility, is capable of carrying an 11-man squad and a four-man crew in any military operations.

By incorporating improved engines, rotor blade design, durability transmission system, advanced digital avionics and an integrated glass cockpit, the H-60M helicopter has been enhanced to provide additional payload and range, improved handling qualities, lower operating costs, and greater survivability.

The delivery of the first UH-60M helicopter is part of the signing on the US Army letter of offer and acceptance on 7 May 2007, by Bahrain officials, to purchase nine such helicopters through a foreign military sale.

Deliveries of the remaining aircraft will continue through 2010, following its production in Sikorsky’s Military Derivatives Completion Center in Horseheads, New York.