Greece has confirmed its intention to purchase 35 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk military helicopters to help modernise the Hellenic Army.

Athens on 5 April signed a letter of offer and acceptance, making the long-proposed sale official.

The rotorcraft will be US-made Black Hawks procured through the Pentagon’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system, not S-70 direct-commercial-sales variants, which Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec assembles in Poland.

“The latest generation UH-60M Black Hawk will support the Hellenic ministry of defence’s ongoing modernisation and will serve as a dependable helicopter for vital national and allied security missions,” says Sikorsky president Paul Lemmo.

Black Hawks-c-US Army

Source: US Army

The Hellenic Army plans to obtain 35 UH-60s to succeed the current fleet of legacy Bell UH-1s

Arms regulators in Washington had already approved the Greek purchase request for UH-60s, signing off on 35 aircraft last December. The package is valued at a potential $1.95 billion.

“The proposed sale will replace Greece’s current multi-role helicopter fleet with a more reliable and proven system that will allow Greece to maintain the appropriate level of readiness to conduct combined operations,” the US Department of State said at the time.

Last October, Sikorsky revealed Greece had submitted a formal FMS request to obtain as many as 49 UH-60s. It is not clear why that number was reduced during the regulatory approval process.


Source: Sikorsky

The Hellenic Navy in March took delivery of three MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from Sikorsky

The Hellenic Army currently operates 64 Bell UH-1s for utility lift missions.

That service will join the Hellenic Navy as a Sikorsky operator. In March, the navy took delivery of three new-build MH-60R Seahawks, with four more aircraft expected in 2025.

The navy also operates 11 S-70s, according to Cirium data. Both aircraft are derived from the UH-60 airframe.

Sikorsky says Greece will benefit from the operational and sustainment advantages of fleet commonality with an all-Black Hawk fleet. It will likely be several years before those benefits are realised, however.

Speaking at the Association of the US Army conference in Washington last October, Lemmo said there is approximately a three-year wait for new Black Hawks between finalised orders and first deliveries.

“It depends on the specialisation that they want in the aircraft. Depending on the aircraft, sometimes we can accelerate that a little bit more.”

Standard-model UH-60s are assembled at Sikorsky’s flagship plant in Stratford, Connecticut. Specialised modifications for FMS customers are performed at a separate facility south of Syracuse, New York.

Greece also in January received approval from Washington to buy as many as 40 F-35 stealth fighters from Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s parent company.