While it is still evaluating the advanced Bell V-280 Valor and Sikorsky DefiantX models, the US Army has closed a new H-60M Black Hawk helicopter procurement deal.
The new package, estimated at $2.3 billion, is the 10th ever signed with the Lockheed Martin-owned manufacturer, and includes 120 new helicopters in addition to an option to purchase another 135 aircraft.
Called “Multi-Year X”, the contract stipulates that deliveries will take place between July and 2027 and include the UH-60M multirole and HH-60M aeromedical evacuation (MEDEVAC) variants.
“This Multi-Year agreement allows the Army to meet current and future capability needs through upgrades, remanufacturing, replacement, and technology insertions,” said Col. Calvin Lane, the Utility Helicopters project manager. “The efficiencies of this contract make the best use of limited resources and result in direct savings to the Army and to taxpayers.”
Although the Black Hawk is a very old project, started in the 70’s, Sikorsky assures that the new helicopters will feature important upgrades such as additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, active vibration control, improved productivity, improved handling qualities. and situational awareness and enhanced survivability.
There are currently more than 2,100 H-60 helicopters in service with the US Army and they are expected to continue operating for decades to come, alongside the future replacement to be defined in the FLRAA (Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft) program.