Saudi Shopping Spree: 24 UH-60L Black Hawk Helicopters
On July 20/06, the US DSCA announced Saudi Arabia’s official request to buy 24 UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters, plus spares and support. The UH-60L Black Hawk is currently the USA’s mainstay utility helicopter, serving in various configurations in all operating theaters and theaters of war; the upgraded UH-60M is just ramping up production, and is the subject of a 2010 DSCA request to equip Saudi Arabia’s National Guard.
Saudi Arabia recently issued the final piece of that contract.
Contracts & Key Events
Nov 14/11: Sikorsky announces a follow-on contract to upgrade the RSLFAC’s 12 UH-60A helicopters to the UH-60L configuration. Wasn’t this covered by the May 3/10 agreement? DID is investigating.
April 28/11: Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in Stratford, CT receives a $26.8 million firm-fixed-price contract, and representatives confirm to DI that this is for the last 2 Saudi UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter airframes under this FMS case. They will be identical to the previous 22 aircraft, and are among the very last UH-60L helicopters Sikorsky is manufacturing and delivering to any client.
Work will be performed in Stratford, CT, with estimated completion by Sept 30/12. One bid was solicited with 1 bid received by the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL, on behalf of its Saudi GFMS customer (DAAH23-02-C-0006).
May 3/10: Sikorsky Aerospace Services announces a contract with the Royal Saudi Land Forces Aviation Command (RSLFAC) to upgrade its fleet of UH-60A/S-70A Black Hawks to the more modern UH-60L configuration.
Based on the success of the US Army’s own H-60 Helicopter Recapitalization and Upgrade Program, the Saudi A-to-L conversion plan incorporates key improvements: a T700 to T701D engine upgrade for increased power and reliability; upgraded flight controls, avionics and instrument panel modifications; a new Aircraft Flight Control Computer (AFCC); as well as new wiring harness, high speed shaft and seal lead acid battery.
Aug 5/08: Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, CT receives a $286 million firm-fixed-price contract for UH-60L helicopters, to include technical support, technical publication and Ground Station Radios for Royal Saudi Land Forces.
Work will be performed in Stratford, CT and is expected to be complete by Sept 30/11. There was 1 bid solicited on Oct 4/2000, which covered UH-60L sales to countries like the USA as well as Saudi Arabia. The contract will be managed by US Army Aviation and Missile Command in Redstone Arsenal, AL, on behalf of their Foreign Military Sale client (DAAH23-02-C-0006).
July 20/06: The US DSCA announces [PDF] Saudi Arabia’s official request to buy 24 UH-60L Black Hawk utility helicopters, plus spare and repair parts, communications and support equipment, publications and technical data, personnel training and training equipment, contractor engineering and technical support services and other related elements of logistics support.
“Saudi forces have used rotary wing assets in numerous anti-terrorism operations within their borders and view their ability to quickly move troops around the country as a critical capability. The helicopters will allow Saudi Arabia to exercise a more flexible and maintainable operation for the protection of critical infrastructure.”
The cost is expected to be up to $350 million, but that will depend on the details of the contract(s), if any. United Technologies subsidiary Sikorsky and General Electric (engines) will be the principal contractors.
Though Saudi Arabia already operates the S-70-A1L Black Hawk, implementation will require the assignment of one Contract Field Support Representative to Saudi Arabia for up to 2 years, and will require the assignment of several U.S. Government Quality Assurance Teams to Saudi Arabia when the aircraft arrive in country.