The U.S. State Department approved the sale to Latvia of four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $200 million, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a release.
The ubiquitous Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter which entered U.S. Army service in 1979. The UH-60 family has been exported to at least 26 nations, and Black Hawks have been deployed in combat around the world, including in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans and Afghanistan.
“These UH-60 helicopters will allow for interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces in rapid response to a variety of missions, and quick positioning of troops with minimal helicopter assets,” the Friday, August 3 release said.
Latvia intends to use the Black Hawks to “expand its existing Army architecture in its efforts to provide multi-mission support in the region,” DSCA said, adding that the sale will significantly increase Latvia’s capability to provide border security, and conduct anti-terrorist, search and rescue, and medical evacuation operations.
Latvia requested the helicopters in standard U.S. government configuration with designated unique equipment and government furnished equipment.
The proposed sale includes ten General Electric engines, ten Embedded Global Positioning Systems/Inertial Navigation Systems, five Talon Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR), communications equipment, 20 AN/AVS-6 Helmet Mounted Night Vision Devices, as well as spare and repair parts, support equipment, training and other support.
The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky, and General Electric.