Royal Bahrain Air Force (RBAF) commander Gen. Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah al-Khalifa says the air force has signed an agreement with Sikorsky to acquire nine Black Hawk-M tactical transport helicopters.

The Black Hawks will be equipped with advanced systems to perform search and rescue operations, and to carry troops and extra fuel tanks to increase its flying capability.

The 60M Black Hawk helicopter is equipped with T700-GE-701D engines, improved-design wide chord rotor blades and an increased-durability gearbox.

The Black Hawk has an integrated vehicle management systems computer, and a modern glass cockpit flight instrument suite.

The air force, which was supposed to receive the aircraft in November 2009 as per a previous agreement, will now receive all nine aircraft in May 2010.