The Slovak Air Force is continuing to receive Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters, with the second batch of two helicopters arriving in-country on 12 July.
According to the Slovak Ministry of Defence (MoD), country’s Air Force has received another two UH-60M Black Hawk military utility helicopters. This brings to the total number of the helicopters in service with the Slovak Air Force to 4.
Slovak Defence Minister Peter Gajdoš said: “These two helicopters are already equipped with a fast rope insertion extraction system, an internal auxiliary fuel tank, and a rescue hoist system.” He further added that the first two helicopters will be additionally fitted with the same equipment. As a result, the helicopter fleet will be capable of performing domestic crisis management tasks, in other words, SAR and disaster response operations.
The first two Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the Slovak Air Force’s helicopter wing in Prešov on 3 August 2017. The additional 5 UH-60M Black Hawks will be delivered in line with the terms and conditions of the contract next year.
“Modernization of equipment must always go hand in hand with training of personnel. That is why I am pleased to say that our trained pilots flew the new helicopters from a German port to their home base,” added Minister Gajdoš. A total of 6 aircrews have already been trained for operating the new air assets, and another three aircrews are undergoing training. The SVK Air Force intends to deploy new Slovak UH-60M Black Hawks on Exercise Atlas Common Challenger 2.0, which is due in October 2018.
The Slovak Ministry of Defence has procured a total of 9 UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters worth USD261 million via the US Governmentʼs Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme.