Preening the Hawks: Maintaining Australia’s H-60 Helicopters

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Rescue me…(click to view full) Australia may be an NH90 customer, but they also fly quite a few Sikorsky helicopters. Their 35 S-70A-9 Black Hawks began service in 1986, and have been used domestically and in a number of international deployments. Their lack of full defensive systems has prevented deployment to dangerous conflict zones like Afghanistan, but recent upgrades have partly fixed this problem. The Royal Australian Navy’s fleet of 16 S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters contain features from the US Navy’s SH-60B and SH-60F Seahawks, and were delivered from 1988-1992. They will be replaced from 2016 onward by new MH-60R Seahawk helicopters. Those fleets need maintenance, and Australia has signed a number of long-term contracts to that end. This article covers those contracts, from 2009 onward. Contracts & Key Events [youtube:v=J48m-Q7CCM0] Australian S-70Asclick for video July 10/12: Umbrella support. Australia’s government signs an A$ 124.8 million (about $130 million) contract with Sikorsky Helitech for Black Hawk and Seahawk fleet maintenance and engineering services. The 4-year contract has 6 annual renewable options, for a possible total of 10 years. It’s a follow-on agreement to the current standing offer, which is expiring after an 8-year term. The new contract is “performance-based,” which means […]

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