Australia UH 60M order illustrative H 60 20719 LFJL 17jul20 Django Bruinink 640UH-60M for Australian Army

On 18 January 2023, the Australian government confirmed that it would buy the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to replace the Australian Army Airbus MRH90 Taipan.

The deal, valued at USD 2 billion (AUD 2,8 billion), will include 40 UH-60Ms, engines and spare engines, specific defensive equipment, personnel training and training equipment, and all related elements of logistics support.

In August 2022, the US State Department made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 1,95 billion.

Back in December 2021, the then Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton announced that the Australian Army would retire the Airbus MRH90 Taipan 10 years earlier than originally planned and replace them with new Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The current Defence Minister, Richard Marles, said the short answer to why the government was switching was that Australia had not got the flying hours with the Taipans that it needed. "We have been struggling with the Taipans for many years, in terms of maintenance issues, getting spare parts," he said.

The new Black Hawks will be operated by the Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey Army Air Field (Qld.) and the 6th Aviation Regiment (AVN) at Luscombe (NSW), also known as Holsworthy Army Air Field. Deliveries are set to begin in 2023.

Photo (just illustrative) by Django Bruinink (Scramble Archive)

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