A new engine for the CH-47 Chinook will significantly increase the capabilities of the helicopter, allowing it to meet future operational needs head on.
Lithuania poised to sign Black Hawk FMS
The Lithuanian MoD is set to formally finalise an FMS deal with the US for four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters with additional equipment, spares, and training, repair and logistical support.
This procurement will cost €181 million (USD213 million) over the next five years, the MoD noted in a 10 November statement, with an extra $30 million of US federal government support.
Lithuania also has the option to acquire two more Black Hawks, bringing the overall cost of the FMS to $380 million.
The new platform will replace ageing Mi-8Ts currently used by the Lithuanian Armed Forces. There are five of these helicopters in the Lithuanian inventory, according to Shephard Defence Insight.
Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky and General Electric were announced as prime contractors when the potential FMS package was announced in July.
‘This acquisition is one of the most critical elements in the modernisation and enhancement of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, and a significant qualitative leap in supplying the military with contemporary and capable weaponry,’ Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis said.
The first Black Hawks could arrive in late 2024, by when the Lithuania Armed Forces will have in place fully trained pilots, ground crew and relevant support equipment.
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