Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Austria has requested from the United States the sale of three additional Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters.

Announced by the US Defense Security and Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 6 December, the USD137 million request for UH-60M-variant machines would bring the Austrian UH-60 fleet up to 12 aircraft.

Austria currently operates UH-60L-standard Black Hawks, which were procured directly from Sikorsky in 1999 in response to the Galtür avalanche that left 38 people dead. The emergency rescue effort exposed serious failings in the country's rotary-winged capabilities, which at that time were largely made up of ageing Bell 412 helicopters.
Since entering service, Austria's Black Hawks have undertaken domestic disaster relief operations, as well as European and NATO missions in Bosnia and Kosovo. To date, the fleet has flown some 15,000 hours.

IHS Jane's had understood that the Austrian government was looking at procuring surplus Black Hawk helicopters, but the DSCA notification suggests no suitable platforms were located among the 28 nations that currently operate the type.

In addition to the three helicopters, Austria has requested the sale of mission planning systems, survivability kit, night vision equipment, as well as communication and navigation systems. [via]

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