UAE Modifying its Black Hawk Helicopters for Air Assault Mission
(Source: Forecast International; issued February 22, 2011)
ABU DHABI --- As part of a AED4 billion ($1.09 billion) package of orders announced at its International Defense Exhibition 2011 (IDEX-11) in Abu Dhabi, the UAE stated on February 21 that it will spend nearly $275 million (AED1 billion) modifying 23 of its Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks with weaponization kits that will transform these utility helicopters into air assault choppers.

The agreement makes the UAE the launch customer for Sikorsky's Battle Hawk weaponization package. The kits will provide the Emirati Black Hawks with rocket- and missile-firing capabilities, as well as outfitting them with heavy-caliber machine guns.

The joint Sikorsky-Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies venture AMMROC (Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center) will handle the major portion of the overhaul work. As the Battle Hawk weaponization package remains in development, delivery of the first modified UH-60Ms to Emirati forces is not expected prior to 2014.

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