US OKs $2.9B UH-60M Helicopter Sale to Sweden, Austria, Brazil

The US State Department has approved foreign military sales of a total of 36 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to Sweden, Austria, and Brazil.

According to Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announcements, the three countries each requested 12 of the Sikorsky-manufactured choppers for an accumulated value of $2.9 billion.

Austria, a non-NATO member, had the highest estimated order cost among the three at $1.05 billion due to a number of additional pieces and parts requested.

Besides the Black Hawks, Vienna wants 26 T700-GE-701D engines, 15 AN/AAR-57 counter missile warning systems, and 30 embedded global positioning systems with inertial navigation.

The list also included radar warning receivers, laser detecting sets, and electro-optical and infrared systems with laser designators.

Sweden’s Request

At a price tag of $900 million, Sweden’s package will reinforce its fleet of 15 US-made Black Hawks delivered in 2012.

The potential purchase comes after the country scrapped its planned procurement of NH90 maritime helicopters from NHIndustries.

Though it is not clear if the UH-60Ms will fill the gap created by the canceled effort, the DSCA said Stockholm’s decision to move forward with the Black Hawk acquisition aims to improve its capability to deter current and future threats.

Like Austria, Sweden included in the package 30 T700-GE-701D engines (including six spares) and 17 AN/AAR-57 common missile warning systems.

It also wants radar warning receivers, laser detecting sets, and enhanced ballistic armor protection systems.

‘Greater Interoperability’

Brazil’s planned $950-million Black Hawk order includes $450 million in major defense equipment and up to $500 million in other equipment and services.

It requested more spare engines than Sweden and Austria at 10, highlighting its commitment to long-term sustainment of the American choppers.

It also wants 28 EAGLE-M embedded global positioning systems with inertial navigation and 24 AN/ARC-231A radio systems.

The DSCA said the potential military sale would support Brasília’s troop transport, border security, medical evacuation, and humanitarian assistance.

It would also help promote the US and Brazil’s goal of achieving greater military interoperability amid the proliferation of modern threats.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of an important regional partner that is a force for political stability and economic progress in South America,” the announcement wrote.

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