Fulfilment of Sweden’s UH-60M requirement edges closer
Sikorsky Aircraft is nearing completion on its work for the Swedish Defence Material Administration’s (FMV) 15 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter programme, with the delivery of the final two aircraft planned for later this month. Sikorsky will deliver the aircraft to the US Army who will transfer them to the FMV under a foreign military sale (FMS) signed in May 2011.
According to Sikorsky, all 15 aircraft will have been delivered in just 16 months from receiving the production order. The accelerated deliveries are arriving in time for the Swedish Armed Forces to deploy three aircraft to Afghanistan in 2013 in support of Sweden's commitment to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
Sikorsky is delivering Sweden's aircraft to the US Army equipped with an advanced flight control system to reduce pilot workload, full night vision device capability for night operations, and a state-of-the-art communications suite. The US Army is further modifying each aircraft with a variety of equipment, including an exterior rescue hoist, gunner seats, armoured floor, stackable litters, a cockpit heater and environmental control system. Six modified UH-60M aircraft are currently at the Swedish Air Force base in Linkoping.
Once in Afghanistan, Sweden will operate the UH-60M aircraft for medical evacuation, utility, and search and rescue missions.
The US Army has been training Swedish aircrew and maintainers at its Aviation Centre of Excellence, Fort Rucker. They will receive follow on unit training in Sweden. Sikorsky Aerospace Services and Swedish defence and security company Saab will provide maintainer training and long-term logistics support for the fleet.
Sweden is the first European country to acquire the US Army's UH-60M Black Hawk aircraft. Introduced into service with the US Army in 2007, the 'M' model is the latest variant of the world's most successful medium-lift military utility helicopter.
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