Lockheed Martin company Sikorsky has secured a $3.8bn contract to manufacture H-60 Black Hawk helicopters for the US Army.
Under the contract awarded by the US Government, Sikorsky will manufacture a total of 257 H-60 Black Hawk helicopters over the next five years.
The latest Multi-Year IX contract for UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC aircraft is said to be the ninth multiple-year contract between Sikorsky and the government for H-60 helicopters.
The UH-60M/HH-60M helicopters are claimed to be the latest in a series of Black Hawk variants that Sikorsky has been delivering to the army since 1978.
These helicopters provide additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, improved handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, improved survivability and producibility, Lockheed stated.
The Black Hawk multirole helicopter serves as a casualty evacuation platform, by providing critical supplies to troops, delivering emergency supplies during natural disasters, and operating as an aerial firefighter and border patroller.
US Army Utility Helicopters project manager colonel Billy Jackson said: "This contract will provide our army, sister services and allies with state-of-the-art modernised helicopters to complete crucial missions and save lives.
“Moreover, this effort will stabilise our manufacturing base and control long-term costs, and ultimately provide significant savings to the taxpayer."
The contract has an option for an additional 103 aircraft, which is expected to increase the contract value to $5.2bn.
Deliveries under the contract will begin in October and continue through to 2022.
The US Government contract also includes delivery of helicopters to foreign military sales (FMS) customers.
Image: UH-60M Black Hawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin.