Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced the signing of a $124.8 million contract for maintenance and engineering support for the Black Hawk and Seahawk fleet of helicopters.
The Black Hawk multi-role helicopters have been the mainstay of the Australian Defence Force’s troop lift helicopter capability since 1987.
Black Hawks can also carry out aerial reconnaissance, observation, direction of artillery fire, casualty evacuation and aerial fire support. Black Hawks also played a vital role in search and rescue and the provision of disaster relief support during the 2011 natural disasters in Australia.
The Seahawk have been a key element of Australia’s anti-submarine warfare capability since 1988.
Seahawks can deploy from Navy frigates and amphibious ships. In addition to anti-submarine warfare, Seahawks perform a wide range of roles at sea, including anti-surface warfare, search and rescue, supply and replenishment and medical evacuation.
“Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters have been a key part of the Australian Defence Force for the last 25 years,” Mr Smith said.
“They have supported our troops on operations as well as providing important disaster relief support here in Australia.”
“For every hour in the sky, there are a lot more hours of repair and maintenance needed on the ground,” Mr Clare said.
“That’s why signing this contract is so important. The highly skilled workers at Sikorsky Helitech play an important role in keeping our helicopters flying.”
The four year contract with Sikorsky Helitech is for the provision of maintenance and engineering services in support of the Black Hawk and Seahawk fleets, with options to extend for a further six years.