First European customer for UH-60M helicopter
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. today announced that the US Government has agreed to sell 15 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (or FMV, which is the Swedish acronym) for operation by the Swedish Armed forces. The transaction will take place under the US Government's Foreign Military Sales program, and represents the introduction of the latest and most technologically advanced Black Hawk model into Europe. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp..
The Swedish Armed Forces will use the aircraft for medical evacuation, utility, and search and rescue missions. Sikorsky is slated to deliver six of the helicopters in 2011 and the remaining nine in 2012 under an accelerated production schedule.
Sweden is a member of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
"We're honored to support the Swedish Armed Forces, and we congratulate them for being the first European Union nation to choose this highly evolved UH-60M aircraft, which is part of a lineage of aircraft that have proven themselves countless times under the most extreme conditions all over the world," said Mick Maurer, President of Sikorsky Military Systems.
The UH-60M helicopter is the latest version in the long and highly successful Black Hawk family. It is flown by the US Army and provides additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, improved handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, and improved survivability compared with the predecessor UH-60L model.
The Black Hawk helicopter is well known for its ruggedness, survivability and mission flexibility, having logged more than 9 million flight hours since the first model was introduced in 1978. Worldwide, approximately 3,000 are in operation today. Sweden will become the 26th nation to operate Black Hawk helicopters and only the second in Europe, where Austria operates UH-60L models. US forces have flown various Black Hawk models for 1.2 million flight hours to date in Afghanistan and Iraq without a single material failure.
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