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Australian army receives first 3 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk multi-role helicopters.

| 2023

According to Asia Pacific Defense Journal, there have been developments involving the Australian Army and their acquisition of utility helicopters. The details pertaining to a batch of three Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk multi-role helicopters, which have been delivered to the Australian Army as part of an agreement between Australia and the United States that was publicly disclosed in January of the year 2023.

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Australian army receives first 3 Sikorsky UH 60M Black Hawk multi role helicopters Sikorsky UH-60M assigned to Charlie Company, 2-158 Assault Helicopter Battalion, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. on Feb. 7, 2023 (U.S. Army/Capt. Kyle Abraham, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade)

This consignment was dispatched in the manner of two distinct airborne transfers. The initial pair of helicopters reached their destination at the RAAF Base Richmond on July 30, 2023, followed by the arrival of a single unit on August 4, 2023. It is notable that the means of delivery employed for both instances was a C-17 Globemaster 3 aircraft, which belongs to the fleet of the US Air Force.

This strategic move by the Australian Army is aligned with their intention to replace the existing MRH-90 Taipan helicopters, a fleet that encountered difficulties and was unfortunately implicated in a tragic incident that claimed the lives of four personnel from the Australian Army. This incident occurred mere days prior to the introduction of the first two Black Hawk helicopters.

The endeavor to replace the aforementioned helicopters with Sikorsky's UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters is encompassed by an extensive contract valued at approximately A$2.79 billion (equivalent to US$1.82 billion). It is worth noting that the variant denoted as the "M" iteration signifies the most recent utility variant in Sikorsky Aircraft's production line, and these helicopters are also concurrently being allocated to the US Army.

The manufacturer, Sikorsky, is anticipated to continue the delivery of additional helicopters in the forthcoming months. The 5th Aviation Regiment of the Australian Army, stationed in Oakey, as well as the 8th Aviation Regiment based in Holsworthy, are the designated recipients of these impending deliveries.

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