Mike Model Black Hawk Utility Helicopters
The new Mike Model Black Hawk Utility Helicopters
The Pentagon recently announced that Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky unit will be receiving its 10th five-year contract for 120 H-60 Mike-model Black Hawk utility helicopters. The contract is worth $2.3 billion, and has additional options for the Army and other customers through Foreign Military Sales; expecting to receive an additional 135 aircraft. These options could increase the total worth of the contract to $4.4 billion. They can expect these deliveries to begin in July, and can continue through 2027, as stated in the contract.
The Army’s utility helicopter project manager, Col. Calvin Lane said, “This Multi-Year agreement allows the Army to meet current and future capability needs through upgrades, remanufacturing, replacement, and technology insertions. The efficiencies of this contract make the best use of limited resources and result in direct savings to the Army and to taxpayers.”
The amount of savings that could possibly be made through the five-year agreement has yet to be announced by the Army and Sikorsky.
During the preparation for the Army to award a contract to Sikorsky-Boeing team or Bell to create the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft which is intended to replace the Black Hawk, the Army plans to keep the UH-60 in the force for years until it will slowly be phased out as the FLRAA comes online in the 2030s.
The Mike-model Black Hawks is the most recent variant of the Black Hawk, and has added capabilities such as increased situational awareness and more payload capacity. It was first fielded in 2007 while the Alpha-model was fielded in 1978.
General Electric Aviation developed the Army’s Improved Turbine Engine Program to upgrade the Black Hawks, and the first engine is now being tested by the government. This upgrade will keep the Black Hawk flying for several more decades.
“Decades of Black Hawk production and enhancements, strong program execution and close partnership with the Army has kept the program thriving, and this contract is a testament to that success,” said Nathalie Previte, vice president of Sikorsky’s Army and Air Force programs.
“Additionally, we continue to see strong international interest in the Black Hawk due to its versatility and proven record of providing unwavering support to the U.S and nations around the globe,” Previte added.
Sikorsky is a key investor in the Black Hawk platform, “from sustainment to digital transformation and modernization in order to provide our customers with the competitive edge they require,” said Previte. “We have aligned our investments with the Army’s technology roadmap, while leveraging Future Vertical Lift technologies to ensure the Black Hawk will be a key player in the Joint All-Domain Operations environment and FVL ecosystem.”