STRATFORD, Conn., May 20 (UPI) -- Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. reports the U.S. government has agreed to sell 15 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to Sweden.
The Swedish armed forces will use the aircraft for medical evacuation, utility, and search-and-rescue missions.
Sikorsky is slated to deliver six of the helicopters in 2011 and the remaining nine in 2012 under an accelerated production schedule.
"We're honored to support the Swedish Armed Forces, and we congratulate them for being the first European Union nation to choose this highly evolved UH-60M aircraft, which is part of a lineage of aircraft that have proven themselves countless times under the most extreme conditions all over the world," said Mick Maurer, president of Sikorsky Military Systems.
The UH-60M helicopter is the latest version of the Black Hawk, providing additional payload and range, advanced digital avionics, improved handling qualities and situational awareness, active vibration control, and improved survivability compared with the predecessor UH-60L model.
The company said about 2,700 Black Hawks are in operation today. Sweden will become the 26th nation to operate the aircraft and only the second in Europe, where Austria operates UH-60L models.
U.S. forces have flown various Black Hawk models for 1.2 million flight hours to date in Afghanistan and Iraq without a single material failure.