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Albania receives two Black Hawk helicopters

A file photo of a UH-60A Black Hawk, of the type that Albania has received from surplus US Army stocks. (US Department of Defense)

A pair of US Army surplus Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters were delivered to Albania on 13 January, Albanian Minister of Defence Niko Peleshi disclosed on the same day.

Delivered aboard a US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III strategic airlifter, the helicopters were transferred to Rinas Air Base, near Tirana.

Albania plans to use its UH-60s in utility, tactical transport, fast-roping, and aerial firefighting roles, allowing its crews to accumulate flight hours and experience in preparation for the expected acquisition of additional helicopters of the same type.

The Black Hawks will join the Albanian military helicopter fleet of seven Agusta-Bell AB206C-1s, five Agusta-Bell AB205A-1s, one Agusta A109C, eight Bölkow-Blom Bo.105E-4s, as well as three Airbus Helicopters EC145 and four AS532AL Cougar helicopters.

Albania is the fifth Balkan user of the UH-60 Black Hawk, with the other countries being NATO members Croatia, Greece, Romania, and Turkey. Kosovo has also demonstrated an interest in the highly capable Black Hawk.

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