The Australian Government has confirmed its plans to procure a total of 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Delivery of the new helicopters to the Australian Army is expected to commence later this year.

Once delivered, the new UH-60M Black Hawk fleet will be based at Oakey, Queensland, and at Holsworthy, New South Wales, Australia.

The fleet will be supported by a highly skilled workforce comprising maintenance personnel from the ADF and Australia’s defence industry partners.

Apart from sustainment support, the selected Australian industry partners will also be required to provide associated warehousing services and logistic support, as well as other training development and engineering services.

The collaborative effort will further ensure the maximum participation of Australian contractors, paving the way for helicopter industry growth in the country.

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ADF Land Capability head major general Jeremy King said: “The Black Hawk capability will be a crucial element for us to protect Australia’s sovereignty, and deliver foreign policy objectives, including providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

“The Black Hawk will support the deployment of our troops and their equipment where they are needed in times of crisis. The Black Hawk is a reliable, proven, and mature platform supported by a robust global supply chain.

“This acquisition will mean we can continue to defend Australia and respond in times of need in a safe and effective way for years to come.”

The initial plans to acquire 40 Black Hawk helicopters for the Australian Army was announced by the former Australian government in December 2021.

The new aircraft were being considered to replace the army’s existing fleet of MRH-90 Taipan medium-lift multi-role helicopters.