The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a potential foreign military sale (FMS) of UH-60M Black Hawk multi-mission helicopters and associated equipment to Mexico.
Under the estimated $680m sale, Mexico has requested 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in standard USG configuration, along with designated unique equipment and government furnished equipment (GFE).
Additional equipment includes 40 T700-GE-701D engines, including 36 installed and four spares, 42 embedded global positioning systems/inertial navigation systems, with 36 installed and six spares and 36 M134 7.62mm machine guns.
The package also covers five aviation mission-planning systems, 18 AN/AVS-9 night vision goggles (NVGs), one aviation ground-power unit, as well as communication security equipment, including AN/ARC-210 RT-8100 series radios and identification friend or foe (IFF).
Mexico has also asked for the provision of facility construction, spare and repair parts, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, tool and test equipment, aircraft warranty, air worthiness support and other related elements of programme, technical and logistics support.
The UH-60M helicopters are expected to significantly increase and strengthen Mexico’s capability to provide in-country airlift support for its forces engaged in counter-drug operations.
In addition, the defence articles and services will be used for the modernisation of the Mexican Armed Forces, while strengthening the country’s efforts to combat drug trafficking organisations.
The sale also contributes to the foreign policy and national security of the US by improving the security of Mexico, which has been a strong partner in combating organised crime and drug trafficking organisations.
Sikorsky Aircraft and General Electric Aircraft Company (GEAC) have been named as prime contractors for the FMS programme.
The UH-60M is an upgraded variant of the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, featuring improved rotor blades and advanced flight control and aircraft navigation control systems.
Image: A Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter in flight. Photo: courtesy of Konflikty.