News Australia plans to sell 27 S-70A Black Hawks


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he Australian Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to offer up to 27 Black Hawk helicopters for sale as it prepares to retire the helicopter type by December 2022.

According to a tender notice from March 2021, the potential sale is still subject to various US government and Australian defence ministry approvals. In particular, the helicopters may be subject to the US International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

The Australian government noted it would prefer to sell all the Black Hawks and related equipment inventory to a single purchaser or as few purchasers as practicable. The helicopters are expected to be available for sale from July 2021 at the earliest.

According to the MoD information, the Black Hawks are replaced by the the NHIndustries MRH90. Next to this replacement, the Australian Army is also in the process of acquiring up to 16 four-ton class helicopters under Project LAND 2097 Phase 4 that will replace the Black Hawk in the special operations support role. Candidates are the Airbus H145M and the Bell 429 Global Ranger.


The first S-70A-9 Black Hawk was handed over to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in December 1987. After the first eight Black Hawks were delivered to the RAAF, it was decided that the helicopter type would be transferred to the Australian Army. The already delivered helicopters, serials A25-101 until A25-108, were transferred to the Army on 15 February 1989. Further deliveries were made direct to the Army.


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