Canberra: Australia will purchase 40 UH-60M Black Hawk multi-purpose helicopters from the United States for its armed forces to meet the country’s strategic needs, the Australian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.
“The Australian Government will acquire 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Australian Army,” the ministry said in a statement.
Head Land Capability Major General Jeremy King also said that this deal would be essential to “meet the strategic needs of the Australian army,” protect the sovereignty of the country and achieve its foreign policy goals.
“The Black Hawk will support the deployment of our troops and their equipment where they are needed in times of crisis. The Black Hawk is a reliable, proven and mature platform supported by a robust global supply chain,” he said.
According to the statement, the delivery of the helicopters will begin in 2023.
On Tuesday, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the deal would cost $2.8 billion Australian dollars ($2 billion), and the Black Hawks would replace European Taipan helicopters. According to the Australian authorities, Taipan helicopters proved to be very unreliable and did not meet expectations.
The UH-60 Black Hawk was introduced into service with the US military in 1979. The aircraft comes in numerous variants with different modifications but is mainly used as a tactical transport helicopter.