Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton announced on Friday that Canberra will acquire up to 40 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk attack helicopters, Defense News reported.
“The Black Hawk is so much cheaper on a per-hour basis to run than the existing Taipan [Europen helicopter]. The Taipan is unreliable, there’s a lot of money that’s spent on maintenance and a lot of downtime of our pilots and aircrews who should be up to training and they should be flying these helicopters, and at the moment, in many cases, they just can’t,” Dutton said.
Dutton didn’t specify the exact timing or cost of acquiring the UH-60M but said Australian taxpayers would save about $ 1.8 billion by 2037.
In October, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced that the Department of State had approved a potential sale to Australia of an additional 12 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawks. The Australian Department of Defense later confirmed that the helicopters are being considered to replace the MRH 90 as part of the Sea 9100 project.