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Australia receives first three UH-60M Black Hawks

Australia's receipt of the first three Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks from the United States will allow it to start training and familiarisation operations with the new aircraft. This photo is of a US Army UH-60M during Exercise ‘Talisman Sabre 2023' in Queensland, Australia, on 17 July 2023. (US Army/Sgt. Ashunteia' Smith)

Australia has received the first three of 40 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters ordered for the Australian Army.

An Australia Department of Defence (DoD) spokesperson told Janes that the first two UH-60Ms “arrived at [Royal Australian Air Force] RAAF Base Richmond on 30 July via a US Air Force Boeing C-17”. The spokesperson added that this arrival was on schedule.

“A third UH-60M Black Hawk arrived on Friday, 4 August, also via a US Air Force C-17,” the spokesperson said.

The delivery of the initial two aircraft occurred two days after an Australian Army NHIndustries MRH90 ‘Taipan' helicopter crashed on 28 July. The DoD spokesperson did not specify when the other UH-60Ms will be delivered.

The delivery of the three Black Hawks appears to be ahead of schedule. Australia signed the contract for acquisition of 40 helicopters and related equipment under Foreign Military Sales (FMS) on 18 January. The acquisition has a contract value of AUD2.79 billion (USD1.82 billion).

On 31 July, a day after the delivery of the first two aircraft, the Australian Minister for Defence and Deputy Prime Minister, Richard Marles, said he did not “want to raise expectations around having the Black Hawks in service sooner”.

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