Defence confirms Black Hawk selection.
By Liam Garman
Following months of speculation, Head Land Capability Major General Jeremy King confirmed the acquisition of 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Australian Army.
Defence and the Commonwealth have confirmed the acquisition of 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, following months of speculation.
Australia initially received approval from the US State Department for a US$1.95 billion purchase of the systems in August 2022.
Though Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles later raised doubts about the acquisition, telling media that the “fuzzy commitment” would be subject to a review process.
Months on, Head Land Capability Major General Jeremy King has confirmed the acquisition of the asset, announcing that the systems will enable the Australian Army to meet its strategic objectives.
Delivery of the systems is scheduled to commence this year, with the Black Hawks operating from Oakey, Queensland and Holsworthy, NSW.
They are expected to be maintained by a blended workforce, which includes local industry contractors operating across logistics, warehousing, training and development services.
“The Black Hawk capability will be a crucial element for us to protect Australia’s sovereignty, and deliver foreign policy objectives, including providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” MAJGEN King said.
“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.
“This acquisition will mean we can continue to defend Australia and respond in times of need in a safe and effective way for years to come.”
The selection of the Sikorsky-made UH-60M Black Hawk for the Australian Army under LAND 4507-1 was welcomed by Lockheed Martin Australia chief executive Warren McDonald.
“The UH-60M Black Hawk is a tough, reliable and proven utility helicopter. Australia’s acquisition of the Black Hawk reinforces our nation’s enduring military interoperability with the US and allied nations. The Black Hawk will enhance future joint operations and the ongoing protection of Australia and the Indo-Pacific region,” McDonald said.