DETAILS OF an offer to Slovakia of nine Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters were revealed by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on February 19. The DSCA said that US State Department approval for the possible Foreign Military Sale has been granted and Congress was notified of the proposal on February 18.
Including associated equipment, parts and logistical support, the prospective deal will be worth an estimated $450 million. The Government of Slovakia has requested the helicopters in standard US Government configuration with designated unique equipment and Government Furnished Equipment (GFE). If it goes ahead, the deal will include 20 T700-GE-701D Engines (18 installed and two spares); 20 embedded GPS/INS; two aviation mission planning systems; one aviation ground power unit; eleven AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe transponders; 20 VHF/digitally selective calling AN/ARC-231 radios; eleven ARN-147 VHF omni ranging/instrument landing system (VOR/ILS); eleven AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation Systems and eleven AN/ARC-201D single channel ground and airborne radio systems radios.
The DSCA notes that this proposed sale will help to improve the security of a NATO ally, enhancing Slovakia’s capability to deter regional threats and strengthen its homeland defence, as well as support counter-terrorism operations. It will bolster the country’s ability to provide border patrol, rapid reaction, and field expedient fire-fighting capability for its air and ground forces in counter-terrorism, border security and humanitarian operations.
Slovak Defence Minister Martin Givac had first revealed the US offer of UH-60Ms at a press conference in Bratislava earlier this year, on January 12. He said at that time that the Slovak Government would review the offer, but noted that similar helicopters were also being evaluated for the requirement by the Slovak Ministry of Defence. They will replace the current Slovak Air Force Mi-17 fleet. Alan Warnes