Greece formalizes its order for 49 Black Hawk helicopters

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The Greek Land Forces are seeking to retire their UH-1H Iroquois helicopters, which have become too old. If the export authorization is approved, however, we will have to wait a few years before seeing a UH-60 Black Hawk with a Greek roundel.

A confirmation

On April 3, 2023, Greece formalized its desire to acquire 49 UH-60M Black Hawk medium transport helicopters. On October 9 at the Association of the US Army conference, Paul Lemmo, CEO of Sikorsky, specified that Greece had now made its request official:

A formal request had been received from Greece for the supply of up to 49 Black Hawk helicopters.

He also specified that this request was being analyzed by the DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency). Without the approval of this agency, no American company can sign a military export contract. However, if the chances of a negative opinion are tiny, Paul Lemmo also announced that the Greek military must be patient: between the signing of the contract and the delivery of the first UH-60, the current waiting period is approximately three years !

Capacity increase

While the exact versions are not known, it is certain that Greece will purchase one of the latest versions of the Black Hawk (probably the UH-60M). These helicopters will allow the retirement of the Bell-205/UH-1H (between 60 and 74 still in service) of the Greek Land Forces. These were acquired during the 1970s and 1980s from Italy (original) and the United States (original and 30 second hand) and are therefore becoming too old. The Greek UH-1H Iroquois fleet is also in the process of being reduced. Concretely, the arrival of the UH-60M will allow modernization and an increase in capacity for the majority of helicopters of the Greek Army: possibility of transporting 10 equipped soldiers or even 4 tons under sling, glass cockpit, pylons transport (additional tank, machine gun or even AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles),…

Finally, this is not the first time that Greece is interested in helicopters from the Lockheed Martin subsidiary: the Greek Navy already uses 11 SH-60B Seahawks and soon 4 MH-60R Seahawks (at least 1 delivered in 2010 on the 4 ordered, possibility of buying another 3 (DSCA)).

John Walker Avatar