US Department of Defence approved the contract, the aim of which is to deliver 4 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for Slovakia.
The agreement constitutes a modification of the long-term contract pertaining the deliveries of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the DoD services and for the export users. The value of the deal is defined as USD 46.14 million, it covers deliveries of four helicopters, along with the equipment delivered for the government users.
The contracted works are planned to be finalized until May 2017. The agreement, which has been signed with the US Department of Defence acting as the intermediary, is connected to the fact that conditions of the Foreign Military Sales procedures need to be met.
Slovaks had decided to acquire 9 examples of the UH-60M helicopters, purchase of which was to be covered with an amount which was not to exceed the sum of USD 261 million, whereas the total value additionally includes training and logistics packages. The relevant documentation has already been transferred to the congress.
Slovakia decided to procure the Black Hawks, in order to replace the Soviet Mi-17 helicopters. Acquisition of the new rotor-craft is one of the projects which are a part of the armed forces modernization programme. The incentive also includes acquisition of the Polish-Slovak Scipio APCs, based on the Rosomak vehicle, fitted with a Slovak turret. Back in 2014, the Bratislava’s defence expenditure was contained in an amount equivalent to 1% of the Slovak GDP, however, in the light of the Ukrainian crisis, declarations were made that the defence budget would be expanded. The fact that the defence spending was maintained at the level which was so low forced the Slovakian forces to implement gradual cuts.
Modernization of the helicopters is also being planned in the Czech Republic. Prague is willing to acquire 30 to 35 new rotorcraft, in order to replace the Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters. This is also more than it was initially planned – the level of defence expenditure has also been raised. UH-1Y, UH-60M Black Hawk and Airbus Helicopters rotary-winged aircraft are being considered. The Czechs, according to Armadni Noviny, are also considering the offers placed by AgustaWestland (AW139) and by the Korean Aerospace Industries (Surion).