US approves Croatian UH-60M purchase

The US State Department has approved the possible sale of two Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk medium-lift battlefield utility helicopters to Croatia.

Confirmation of the potential sale came on October 30, following a press release by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA). The deal, worth $115m, includes two UH-60Ms along with up to nine General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines, nine H-764GY/Embedded Global Positioning/Inertial Navigation (EGI) systems, aircraft spares, training and logistical support services. The deal also includes communication security equipment, such as the AN/APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder.

Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk [Lockheed Martin]
The US Army's 101st Aviation Regiment's 4th Battalion was the first unit to be equipped with the UH-60M - one of its Black Hawks is seen here in flight over California in 2008. Lockheed Martin/Sikorsky

The DSCA press release said: "Croatia intends to use these defence articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing army architecture in its efforts to provide multi-mission support in the region as well as combat terrorist threats.  Croatia will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces."

In Croatian military service, the UH-60Ms will be used in counter-terrorism, medical evacuation, border security, search and rescue (SAR), combat support and troop transport missions. 

Croatia's potential UH-60M purchase follows the recent donation of 16 former-US Army Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warriors light observation and reconnaissance helicopters to the nation from the United States.