The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) has signed a direct commercial repair agreement with Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) in support of their UH-60L Black Hawk multi-mission helicopter fleet.
The multi-year agreement will utilise the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) access to streamline support services and also enhance operational readiness for the UH-60 fleet.
Specifically, SAS, the aftermarket business of Sikorsky Aircraft, will repair the helicopters' airframe and engine components, gearboxes, hydraulics and landing gears.
The aircraft components will be initially shipped to Sikorsky-approved repair facilities with return transfer to designated FAB bases.
SAS Global Service and Support director Stephen Bohlman said the maintenance contract represents another step in delivery of a full portfolio of support services to Brazil.
"Separately, SAS entered into an agreement to establish in-country warehousing of spare parts in support of Brazil's commercial operators, and we look forward to continuing to expand our mutual relationship," Bohlman said.
Around 15 UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters had been ordered by FAB from Sikorsky under a $10.1m US foreign military sales (FMS) contract in September 2012.
Delivered in March 2011, the first two helicopters are currently operated by the Panther Squadron in support of search-and-rescue (SAR) operations, humanitarian relief and anti-drug operations in the Amazon region.
Powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701 engines, the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter is designed to conduct tactical troop and equipment transport, medical evacuation, command-and-control, search-and-rescue armed escort, electronic warfare and executive transport missions.
Capable of transporting an 11-person, fully-equipped infantry squad, the helicopter can also be configured to perform air assault, air cavalry, command and control and special operations.
Besides Brazil, Black Hawks are also operational with the US, Argentine, Australian, Colombian, Greek, Japanese, South Korean, Saudi, Thai, Philippine and the Spanish militaries among others.
Image: A UH-60L Black Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter of the Brazilian Air Force. Photo: courtesy of Força Aérea Brasileira.