Australia’s New Investment Into 10 UH-60s

Posted on August 14, 2017 David Atkinson Aviation News

Sikorsky Aircraft manufactured the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk which is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-life utility helicopter. It was named after the war leader Black Hawk and it entered service in the U.S. Army in 1978, to replace the Army’s tactical transport helicopter.  It needs two pilots and two crew chiefs in order to operate and its max load is 2640 lbs or 11 combat-equipped troops.

Two Australian companies and Sikorsky made a deal to transfigure the utility helicopters to execute aerial firefighting and disaster relief missions. Lockheed Martin unit Sikorsky mentioned that the deal is worth up to A$63 million and contains choices for 10 additional aircraft.

Inaugurated in 2000, in Europe, Kaan Air has remarkable ties to two of the world’s leading helicopter manufacturers, Agusta Westland and Russian Helicopters Kamov. On the other hand, its partners Starflight Australia provides logistic and emergency rotary wing solutions. StarFlight is a joint venture between Kaan and LifeFlight Australia. LifeFlight is a world leader in aeromedical care and Australia's most diversified service with both a fixed and rotary wing fleet.

“The purchase of 10 plus 10 optioned Black Hawks represents a significant milestone for the firebombing and disaster relief helicopter industry in Australia, particularly in terms of efficient rotary wing attack to reduce loss of life and property during bushfire events,”

said Kaan Air Australia and StarFlight Australia chief executive John Skeen in a statement.

In early 2018, 10 prior US military Black Hawks will be redesigned and repurposed for aerial firebombing. After the purchase, they will be sent to Australia, where the work will be done.

The upgraded work will involve positioning new GE Aviation T700-701D engines and upgraded gear boxes, plus the installation of a helicopter terrain awareness and warning system. This entire project will take three months per helicopter.

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