Sikorsky Nabs $99.9M to Build 25 Black Hawk Helicopters for Saudi Arabia

Colombian Air Force pilots fly a blackhawk helicopter over the Gulf of Uraba during a surveillance mission in which also school kits and humanitarian aid were distributed, in Choco department, Colombia, near the border with Panama, on October 14, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by JOAQUIN SARMIENTO / …
JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty

(UPI) — Sikorsky Aircraft has received a $99.9 million contract to provide 25 modified UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the Saudi Arabian National Guard, the Pentagon announced this week.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, comes under a previous 2017 deal with Sikorsky and follows a $200 million contract awarded in 2018 to provide 17 UH-60 helicopters for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The UH-60M was introduced in 1979 and has been used in multiple operational roles by forces around the world, including insertion and extraction of ground forces as well as medical evacuation missions.

The aircraft gained national attention in May 2011, when a stealth Black Hawk helicopter crashed in Pakistan during U.S. forces’ raid on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden‘s.

The Black Hawks in the 2018 deal were delivered to the Royal Saudi Land Forces Airborne Special Security Forces and the Saudi Arabian National Guard.

The latter force is tasked with protecting Saudi Arabia’s royal family.

In 2017 Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, was awarded a $3.8 billion contract to manufacture UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for Saudi Arabia.

Arms deals with the country have been controversial due to its human rights record and its military campaign in Yemen.

In January, the White House ordered a pause on arms deals made toward the end of the end of the Trump administration, including $300 million for munitions and $31 billion for cruise missiles to Saudi Arabia.

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