Saudi Arabia to receive 17 Blackhawk helicopters from Sikorsky

By James LaPorta  |  Jan. 12, 2018 at 9:28 AM
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Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has awarded Sikorsky a contract worth nearly $200 million for 17 unique UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters for Saudi Arabia.

The terms of the deal were announced Thursday by the Department of Defense. The agreement reached between the Army and Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, is worth more than $193.8 million under the terms of a firm-fixed-price foreign military sale.

Saudi Arabia is expected to receive eight UH-60Ms for the Saudi Arabian National Guard, while the other nine will go to the Royal Saudi Land Forces Airborne Special Security Forces.

The UH-60M Blackhawk aircraft has been in use by military forces around the world since it was first introduced in 1979. For the U.S., the Blackhawk has been used in multiple operational roles, from insertion and extraction of ground forces to being the primary aircraft of choice for medical evacuation missions.

Over the years, multiple variants and versions of the original UH-60 design have been manufactured. The Blackhawk aircraft gained national attention in May 2011, after a stealth Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Abbottabad, Pakistan, during the raid on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's compound by members of SEAL Team Six.

Work on the contract will occur in Stratford, Conn., and is expected to be completed by December 2022.

More than $11.1 million will be obligated to Sikorsky at the time of award, which has been allocated from fiscal year 2018 foreign military sales, the Pentagon said.

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