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Latvia receives first Black Hawk helos

One of the first pair of Black Hawk helicopters delivered to the Latvian Air Force. (Latvian MoD)

Latvia has received the first two of Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk transport helicopters ordered in 2018.

The first pair of four helicopters for the Latvian Air Force were received into Lielvārde Air Base aboard a US Air Force Boeing C-17A Globemaster III transport aircraft on 11 December.

“This is a long-awaited addition to the arsenal that allows the air force to achieve a new level of capability by replacing the depleted Soviet Mi-17s with new and advanced Black Hawk helicopters. The new equipment will help both in military operations and, if necessary, also in rescue works and other types of operations,” Latvian Minister of Defence, Artis Pabriks said.

Delivery of the remaining two helicopters is scheduled to take place by the end of 2023.

In August 2018, the US cleared the Baltic country to acquire four UH-60s, along with equipment including Talon forward looking infrared (FLIR) systems, spares, support, and sustainment for USD200 million. Janes was first to report the Latvian procurement in November 2018, when the then State Secretary for the Latvian Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed at the Berlin Security Conference that the deal had been signed.

The Latvian MoD had earlier said the Black Hawks would provide a rapid response capability and the ability to move and support its forces. Latvian Air Force air and ground crews have been training on the Black Hawk since 2020.

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