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USA approves sale of twelve “Black Hawk” to Austria

USA approves sale of twelve “Black Hawk” to Austria
Twelve new Black Hawk helicopters have been ordered.

“The proposed sale will improve Austria’s ability to deter current and future threats,” the US Agency for International Security Cooperation (DSCA) said on Wednesday (local time). The cost, including logistics and service, was given as 1.05 billion dollars (967.12 million euros).

“Important step towards a modern army”

In a statement, Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner (ÖVP) called the US decision “another important step on our mission to move forward towards a modern army. With these twelve additional Black Hawk helicopters, we can further fully modernize our fleet and expand it to a total of 24 S-70s.”

  • Also read: The Federal Army took on 1,233 soldiers and civilian employees this year

Tanner announced the purchase of the squadron as part of the Federal Army’s reconstruction plan in August. The additional squadron is firmly included in the reconstruction plan. This is made possible by the special budget approved by the government, which provides for investments of 16.6 billion euros by 2032. Three additional S-70 “Black Hawks” in addition to the existing nine machines were previously ordered by the ministry.

Replacement for Agusta Bell

The additional helicopters will provide an adequate replacement for the Agusta Bell (AB-212) helicopters in the future – these will be operational until 2030, explained Tanner. The Austrian Army will thus move towards a two-fleet solution, “so that our helicopter squadrons will only consist of two types in the future – this brings us closer to our goal,” said Tanner.

“The proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a partner that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe,” the US agency’s approval states. It also emphasizes improved military interoperability.

Sweden also gets Black Hawks

Austria will have no difficulty integrating this equipment into its armed forces. There are no known offset agreements for counter-deals in connection with the sale. Regarding the costs, the DSCA says that the actual dollar value may be lower, depending on the final needs. Parallel to the Austria decision, the US authority also approved the sale of a further twelve Black Hawks to the new NATO member Sweden.

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