Austria Secures Deal for 12 New Black Hawk Helicopters

Austria Secures Deal for 12 New Black Hawk Helicopters

Austria has taken a significant step in modernizing its military aviation capabilities by signing a contract for 12 new Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. This €715 million ($766 million) deal marks a major upgrade for the Austrian Armed Forces, replacing their aging fleet of Bell 212 transports.

The acquisition, approved through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process in May, will see deliveries begin in 2028. This timeline allows for the phased retirement of Austria’s 22 Bell 212 helicopters, which have been in service since the early 1980s.

Also read this: Greece’s 35 Black hawk helicopters acquisition

“We are taking another decisive step to ensure the operational readiness of our armed forces and to sustainably increase safety.”

Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner stated

The comprehensive FMS package includes not only the helicopters but also logistics services, mission equipment, and training. This holistic approach ensures that the Austrian military can fully leverage the capabilities of their new Black Hawks from day one.

Austria’s long term vision for these helicopters is clear, with plans to operate the Black Hawks for the next 30 years. This extended operational lifespan underscores the durability and adaptability of the UH-60M platform.

In addition to the new acquisitions, Austria is also modernizing its existing helicopter fleet. The country is upgrading its nine S-70A Black Hawks through a program with Alabama-based Ace Aerospace. Furthermore, three former U.S. Army UH-60Ls will be brought up to the same standard before joining the Austrian fleet.

This multi-faceted approach to helicopter modernization demonstrates Austria’s commitment to maintaining a robust and capable military aviation arm. By combining new acquisitions with upgrades to existing assets, Austria is ensuring a smooth transition to a more modern and effective helicopter fleet.

The introduction of the UH-60M Black Hawks will significantly enhance Austria’s military capabilities, providing improved performance, range, and versatility compared to the older Bell 212s. This upgrade will bolster Austria’s ability to respond to various scenarios, from humanitarian missions to national defense operations.

As Austria prepares for the arrival of its new Black Hawks, the country positions itself at the forefront of military aviation technology in Europe, ready to face the challenges of the coming decades.

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