Rapidly expanding US Company AGD Systems has acquired a batch of more than 30 surplus US Army Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawks which it is offering for Government contract services and Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers. The company has secured the helicopters in association with its teaming partner BHI and in announcing the acquisition on May 26 noted that this is the largest acquisition to date of UH-60 helicopters by a private civilian organization.
The Black Hawks will operate under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) registration-certification for contract work and operation in the Continental United States. They will also be marketed for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to several countries pursuant to International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations with the approval of the US Department of State and Office of Defense Cooperation.
The US Army began withdrawing the UH-60A models from the operational inventory in 2014, even though most have been completely overhauled and have many years of service life remaining. The company’s partner, BHI, is a joint venture by long-standing commercial helicopter operators Firehawk Helicopters, Brown Helicopter and Dynamic Aviation. Restricted category type certification was recently awarded to BHI UH-60 helicopters, allowing their commercial operation for fire-fighting and special missions.
AGD Systems recent expansion has also included the acquisition this year of six former Royal Air Force Tristar tanker/transports which will be used to provide commercial tanking and transport services. In addition, the company has acquired AeroGroup Inc, which was the first civilian commercial company to perform military F-16 pilot training programmes in the continental US for Royal Netherlands Air Force. It also provides similar training for Belgian Air Component F-16 pilots in Belgium. Alan Warnes