The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in Total Package Approach and associated equipment to Austria.
Under the estimated $137m sale, Austria has requested for supply of three UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in standard USG configuration with designated unique equipment and government furnished equipment (GFE), three aviation survivability equipment (ASE), seven T700-GE-701D engines, including six installed and one spare, and three aviation mission planning systems.
Additional supplies include one transportable black hawk operations simulator (TBOS), eight AN/AVS-9 night vision goggles (NVGs), one aviation ground power unit, eight embedded global positioning systems with inertial navigation, and communication security equipment, including AN/ARC-231, AN/ARC-210, AN/ARC-220 and AN/ARC-201D radios, identification friend-or-foe (IFF) systems, and AN/VRC-92 single channel ground and airborne radio system (SINCGARS).
The package also includes air worthiness support, facility construction, spare and repair parts, support equipment, communication equipment, personnel training and training equipment, and related element of programme, technical and logistics support.
The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters are primarily expected to enhance Austria’s capability to conduct domestic search-and-rescue (SAR) missions, border surveillance operations, and contribution to international operations.
In addition, the sale contributes to the Austrian military’s modernisation goals, while boosting interoperability between Austria, the US and other allies.
Sikorsky Aircraft has been named as the principal contractor, while the engines are scheduled to be acquired from General Electric Aircraft Company (GEAC).
The UH-60M is an upgraded variant of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, featuring improved rotor blades and advanced flight control and aircraft navigation control systems.
The Austrian Air Force currently operates UH-60 Black Hawk’s export variant, S-70A-42 for utility missions, including transportation during emergencies.
Image: A US Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter at Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar province, Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of US Army Spc. Austin Berner/Released.