Update: Sikorsky to deliver hundreds more Black Hawks to US Army and FMS customers

by Gareth Jennings

Sikorsky is to deliver hundreds more Black Hawk helicopters under the latest multi-year award announced on 27 June. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Sikorsky to deliver 255 H-60 Black Hawk helicopters for the US Army and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers.

The tenth multi-year award for the Black Hawk helicopters, announced on 27 June, covers 120 baseline H-60Ms, plus options for a further 135 helicopters, and is scheduled to run for five years from July 2022 to 2027. The H-60M designation covers both the UH-60M utility and the HH-60M medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) variants of the Black Hawks.

The contract value is USD2.3 billion, compared withthe previous multi-year award granted for 257 helicopters in 2017 that was worth USD3.8 billion.

The UH-60M is the newest Black Hawk variant in service, and incorporates more powerful and reliable General Electric T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blades, and a fully digital ‘glass' cockpit.

This story, first published on 27 June 2022, has been updated with new information.


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RAF continues roll-out of A400M capabilities with first operational aerial refuelling

by Gareth Jennings

The view of the A400M receiver aircraft from the Voyager mission controller console. (Crown Copyright)

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) is continuing the process of rolling out the capabilities of the Airbus A400M C1 Atlas, announcing on 11 August the first operational aerial refuelling of the airlifter.

For the milestone, an A400M received fuel from an Airbus Voyager KC3 tanker via the centreline hose reserved for large aircraft receivers. The airlifter was refuelled 900 n miles southwest of Ascension Island, extending its 4,100 n miles range to accommodate the remaining 2,600 n miles to Mount Pleasant Airfield on the Falkland Islands.

“The execution of long-range air-to-air refuelling by front-line crews is a major milestone for Atlas. The ability of this aircraft to operate at significant range from the UK, demonstrates our enhanced and resilient force sustainment capabilities,” said Wing Commander Stuart Patton, Officer Commanding 30 Squadron.


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Update: Taiwan reports underplay ‘hundreds' of PLA aircraft in live-fire drills

by Akhil Kadidal

Taiwan said that the PLA flew 49aircraft into the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) on 5 August whereas China has said that it is flying ‘hundreds' of aircraft into the ADIZ. (VCG via Getty Images)

China says it is dispatching hundreds of combat aircraft to the six live-fire zones around Taiwan. However, Taipei's daily air incursion reports show smaller figures. Janes assesses that this could partly be because of strains on the country's radar network.

China launched a four-day live-fire exercise around Taiwan from 4 August, in response to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on 2 August.

On the first day of the drills, the People's Liberation Army's (PLA's) Eastern Theatre Command said that it had “dispatched hundreds of fighters, bombers, and other multitype [aircraft] to the airspace in the north, southwest, and southeast of Taiwan Island”.

The PLA added that the aircraft are conducting “day and night” joint reconnaissance flights, air assault training, and support flights. All six live-fire zones are within Taiwan's Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ).


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Chinese UAVs continue Taiwan incursions, says Taipei

by Oishee Majumdar & Akshara Parakala

Norinco's Loitering Dragon FL5A (pictured above) is one of the UAVs identified by Janes in a propaganda video released by the PLA against the backdrop of its military exercises around Taiwan since 4 August. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the country continues to face incursions by Chinese unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) even after a series of live-fire drills conducted by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) came to an end on 7 August.

The Kinmen Defense Command of the Republic of China Army (RoCA) announced on 10 August that one batch and one sortie of unidentified UAVs had entered over “the restricted waters” of the Beiding Island in Taiwan's Kinmen County on the evening of 9 August.

The RoCA troops stationed in the area fired flares to warn off the UAVs in accordance with standard operating procedures, the command said.

The MND has assured that the RoCA is capable of swiftly responding to such threats.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/update-sikorsky-to-deliver-hundreds-more-black-hawks-to-us-army-and-fms-customers

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Sikorsky to deliver 255 H-60 Black Hawk helicopter...

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