Sikorsky announced July 9 that the Royal Thai Army has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance to acquire two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters through the United States Government’s Foreign Military Sales channel.
Upon delivery, Thailand will become the first member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to fly the very latest version of the Black Hawk helicopter operated by the U.S. Army. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
The UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter incorporates a variety of enhancements including a digital glass cockpit, advanced flight control system, a state-of-the-art communications suite, full night vision device capability for night operations, and other improvements that reduce pilot workload, increase lift, and provide better protection and enhanced survivability. Sikorsky expects to deliver its 500th UH-60M helicopter to the U.S. Army this summer.
“The Black Hawk helicopter is the standard by which all military utility helicopters are judged, and the UH-60M represents the very latest, most comprehensively equipped model that we have ever developed and delivered to the United States government. More nations are increasingly discovering its multi-mission value, outstanding performance record, and durability even in the harshest and most hostile environments,” said Samir Mehta, president of Sikorsky Military Systems. In May 2011, Sweden became the first European country to acquire UH-60M aircraft.
In August 2011, Thailand also became the first country outside the United States to take delivery of Sikorsky’s latest version of the naval Black Hawk utility helicopter, the MH-60S helicopter. The two new “Sierra” aircraft acquired by the Royal Thai Navy are designed for utility missions, such as logistics and troop transport. In addition, the standard searchlight and rescue hoist will enable aircrew to perform search and rescue missions.
More than 3,000 Black Hawk helicopters of all variants are in use today, operating in 30 countries. Designed to stringent U.S. military standards, the Black Hawk helicopter has become the leader in multi-mission type aircraft. Among the mission configurations it serves are troop transport, medical evacuation, electronic warfare, attack, assault support and special operations. Black Hawk helicopters of all variants flown by the U.S. Army in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war have accumulated more than 1.3 million fleet flight hours without a single Class A material failure. The combined operational sortie rate in both theaters stands at 85 percent. The U.S. Army’s total BLACK HAWK helicopter fleet exceeds 2,000 aircraft.
Sikorsky, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. United Technologies Corp., of Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.