US to accelerate UH-60M Black Hawk delivery to Australia
Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles have met US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin to discuss the acceleration of the UH-60M Black Hawk transfer to Australia.
The Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters have been chosen as the replacement for Australia's MRH-90 Taipan helicopters. The decision came in the wake of an MRH-90 helicopter crash in Queensland during Exercise Talisman Sabre on July 28, which led to the grounding of the entire fleet.
‘The future of our relationship, and especially our defence cooperation, looks brighter than ever,’ Austin remarked on 31 October during the meeting. ‘We share a vision with our friends across the Indo-Pacific of a region that is free, open and secure. We’re committed to making that vision a reality.’
Austin added that both Australia and the US confront common challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including destabilising actions and the presence of China.
Marles expressed his country’s gratitude to the US for speeding the delivery of the helicopters.
‘This is something that we really appreciate and is an example of America standing up in a moment in which we really need it,’ he said.
Earlier this year, three new US-built UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters arrived in Australia to be operated by the Australian Army.
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