Existing Black Hawk operators Austria and Sweden have each received approval from the US Department of State to purchase 12 more of the Sikorsky-built type in its latest UH-60M guise.

Both requested via Washington’s Foreign Military Sales funding mechanism, the prospective deals could have a combined value of around $1.9 billion.

Potentially worth just over $1 billion, Vienna’s proposed purchase would “improve Austria’s capability to deter current and future threats and support coalition operations”, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) says. If concluded, a deal also would cover logistics and programme support services, plus two spare GE Aerospace T700-701D engines.

Austrian S-70A Black Hawk

Source: Bundesheer

The Austrian air force currently operates nine S-70A-model Black Hawks

The Austrian air force already has nine S-70As in service, Cirium fleets data shows, with its rotorcraft aged 21 years.

Also detailing Sweden’s potential follow-on Black Hawk buy on 29 May, the DSCA says a purchase could be worth up to $900 million, with its package to include six spare engines.

The Swedish Armed Forces Helicopter Wing has 15 UH-60Ms in active use, with the type originally having been acquired to support operations in Afghanistan. The aircraft are aged between 11 and 12 years, Cirium data shows.

Stockholm’s current acquisition plans include seeking a replacement capability for its in-service NH Industries NH90s, nine of which are flown in the troop transport/utility role.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the DSCA says of Stockholm’s request.

Sweden in early March completed its accession to NATO, becoming the western military alliance’s 32nd member.