The US State Department has approved the sale of four UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and associated equipment to Latvia for around $200m.

The move comes after Latvia, a NATO ally, requested helicopters in standard US Government configuration with designated unique equipment and Government Furnished Equipment (GFE).

Also included in the sale are ten T700-GE-701D engines, ten embedded global positioning systems/inertial navigation systems, five Talon forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR), five AN/APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder, 20 AN/AVS-6 helmet-mounted night-vision devices.

Latvia had also sought to buy spare and repair parts, support equipment, communication equipment, as well as personnel training and training equipment.

The proposed sale will strengthen the security of Latvia and support the foreign policy and national security of the US.

“Latvia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.”

The UH-60 helicopters will improve the country’s interoperability with US and NATO forces during missions, and quick positioning of troops with minimal helicopter assets.

In a statement, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said: “The sale of these UH-60 helicopters to Latvia will significantly increase its capability to provide troop lift, border security, anti-terrorist, medical evacuation, search and rescue, re-supply/external lift, and combat support in all weather.

“Latvia intends to use these helicopters to modernise its armed forces and expand its existing Army architecture in its efforts to provide multi-mission support in the region.

“Latvia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.”

Lockheed Martin’s subsidiary Sikorsky Aircraft Company and General Electric Aviation Company (GEAC) will serve as the prime contractors for the deal.

The UH-60M Black Hawk is a medium-lift helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Company and is deployed by the US Army in missions that encompass Air Assault, MEDEVAC, CSAR, Command and Control, and VIP transport.