The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and related equipment to the government of Australia for an estimated cost of $1.95 billion. Lockheed Martin of Bethesda, Maryland is the primary contractor for the transaction.
The particulars of the equipment to be purchased are as follows:
The Government of Australia has requested to buy forty (40) UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters; eighty-eight (88) T700-GE 701D engines (80 installed, 8 spares); forty-four (44) AN/AAR-57 Counter Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (40 installed, 4 spares); and ninety-six (96) H-764U Embedded Global Position Systems with Inertial Navigation (EGI) and Country Unique SAASM (or future replacement) (80 installed, 16 spares). Also included are AN/ARC-231 RT-1808A (or future replacement) VHF/UHF/LOS SATCOM radios; APR-39C(V)1/4 Radar Warning Receivers; AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets; APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe Transponder; ARC-220 High Frequency (HF) radio with KY-100M; VRC-100 Ground Stations; AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loader (SKL); KIV-77 Common Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Applique Crypto Computers; KY-100M COMSEC Encryption devices; AN/ARN-147(V) Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Range (VOR)/Instrument Landing System (ILS) receiver radio; AN/ARN-149(V) Low Frequency (LF)/Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) radio receiver; AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation System (TACAN) receiver transmitter; AN/APN-209 radar altimeter; AN/ARC-210 radios; EBC-406HM Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT); Encrypted Aircraft Wireless Intercommunications Systems (EAWIS); Improved Heads Up Display (IHUD); Signal Data Converters for IHUD; Blue Force Trackers (BFT-2); Improved Data Modems (IDM); Color Weather Radars; MX-10D EO/IR with Laser Designator; EO/IR Cabin Monitoring Systems; EO/IR Digital Video Recorder; AN/ARC-201D RT-1478D; Engine Inlet Barrier Filters (EIBF); Ballistic Armor Protection Systems (BAPS); Internal Auxiliary Fuel Tank Systems (IAFTS); Fast Rope Insertion Extraction System (FRIES); External Rescue Hoist (ERH); Rescue Hoist Equipment Sets; Dual Patient Litter System (DPLS) Sets; Martin Baker Palletized Crew Chief/Gunner Seats with crashworthy floor structural modifications; External Stores Support System (ESSS); Integrated Tow Plates Production Assets; Universal Software Loading Kits; 60kVA Generator Kits; Instrument Panel sets; External Gun Mount Systems; Black Hawk Aircrew Trainer (BAT); Black Hawk Maintenance Trainer (BHMT-M); Black Hawk Avionics Trainer; Maintenance Blended Reconfigurable Avionics Trainer (MBRAT); training devices; helmets; transportation; organizational equipment; spare and repair parts; support equipment; tools and test equipment; technical data and publications; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistics support.
The public announcement of transactions of this sort are required by federal law. The State Department makes a determination on whether the sale is in the strategic interests of the United States, and whether the sale would alter the military balance in the region where the delivery is to take place.
For this transaction, the State Department wrote:
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.
The proposed sale will replace Australia’s current multi-role helicopter fleet with a more reliable and proven system that will allow Australia to maintain the appropriate level of readiness to conduct combined operations. The UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter will improve the Australian Army’s ability to deploy combat power to share Australia’s strategic environment, deter actions against its interests, and, when required, respond with credible force. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing this equipment into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
Lockheed Martin and Cobb County
The Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta has been a major employer in Cobb County since 1951, when the Lockheed Corporation, a predecessor of Lockheed Martin, took over the former site of the WWII Bell Bomber plant.
The C-130 program is the largest program operating at the Marietta facility. The plant currently produces the C-130J Super Hercules (see the company’s Fast Facts on the C-130J or the company’s C-30J brochure for more information).
The Marietta plant also provides ongoing support for the C-5 Galaxy, which celebrated its 50th year in operation in 2018. The C-5 Galaxy is expected to remain in service until 2045.
The Marietta location also supports the P-3 Orion, and manufactures the center wings for the F-35.