Black Hawk helicopter

Sikorsky Aerospace Services (SAS) is planning to start repair work on the Colombian Army’s (COLAR) seven damaged UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters at its base depot in Tolemaida, Colombia.

The in-country depot level repairs are being provided as part of an annually renewable contract signed with Colombian Army Aviation for delivery of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance services for its Black Hawk fleet.

Work on the helicopters is aimed at ensuring provision of sustained support for Black Hawk fleet operations, as mandated by the army.

SAS sales and strategic relationships vice-president Frank DiPasquale said the company’s ability to support the operational readiness of the Colombian Army reflected its efforts to ensure national order and security.

"The capacity to perform these repairs in-country will represent significant savings to our customer and underscores our ability to be a full life-cycle service provider," DiPasquale said.

"The success of this programme provides economical options for Sikorsky Black Hawk operators worldwide."

"The success of this programme provides economical options for Sikorsky Black Hawk operators worldwide."

SAS’s parent company, Sikorsky Aircraft, set up a new business office in Bogota, Colombia, to extend support for the country’s Black Hawk fleet in November 2012.

The company also announced plans to establish South America’s first Black Hawk helicopter training facility in Melgar, Colombia, to offer pilot and flight crew training for the Colombian Armed Forces and its military customers across Latin America in early 2013.

Colombia is the fourth largest Black Hawk operator globally, with a total of 100 helicopters in use with the army, air force and national police, for air assault, reconnaissance, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), disaster relief, anti-drug, and counter-insurgency missions.

Powered by two General Electric T700 turboshaft engines, the UH-60 Blackhawk is a four-bladed, medium-lift utility helicopter, designed to perform troop transport, MEDEVAC, electronic warfare attack, assault support, as well as search-and-rescue operations.

Image: A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during its flight. Photo: courtesy of US Army.

Defence Technology