Order to Procure Three Additional "Black Hawks" Granted
(Source: Austrian Ministry of Defence; issued Feb 01, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Austria has decided to reinforce its army aviation component by adding three S-70 Black Hawks, bringing the force to 12 aircraft which are often used for disaster relief and rescue missions. (Austria MoD photo)
VIENNA, Austria --- The Federal Army's S-70 "Black Hawk" fleet will be expanded by three additional units, to 12 helicopters, through additional funds from the "Civil Protection Package," in accordance with the Council of Ministers' decision of 22 August 2018.

Today, the order confirmation for the procurement of the three "Black Hawks" by the countersignature of the company "ACE Aeronautics" became final. In 2021, the first helicopter of the expanded fleet is to land in Austria.

Necessary investments to protect the population

"We have been able to make the necessary investments in the future to equip the squadron with modern aviation equipment, and with the three additional 'Black Hawks', we will reach the required full strength for the first time in the history of the Second Republic," said Defense Minister Mario Kunasek.

"The number of emergency missions also clearly shows how important the investments in the framework of the 'Civil Protection Package' are: Our soldiers must be able to act even in the event of disasters, in order to quickly assist the population. "Maintaining mobility to fulfill the mission and protect the population, whether in the air, on the water or on the ground, is a top priority for me," said the Secretary of Defense.

The Avionic update for the remaining nine "Black Hawks" is already underway and will be completed by 2021.

Medium transport helicopter

The Black Hawk is a medium transport helicopter. Due to its two powerful engines, each one 1,940 hp, it is very versatile and ideal for use at high altitudes in the mountains. It has a de-icing system of the rotor blades and the tail rotor, so it can operate even in bad weather or in winter conditions.

The transport capacity is 20 people, or about 4 tons of cargo. In an emergency, however, up to 25 people can be carried. The helicopter has a range of about 500 kilometers, which can be extended with external fuel tanks up to about 1,600 kilometers, or a flight endurance of about 4.5 hours. It reaches a maximum speed of 360 km / h and the maximum altitude is around 6,000 meters.

Over 25,000 flight hours completed

The first flight of the Black Hawk helicopter in Austria took place on 21 September 2002. The first of these military helicopters were procured as a result of the catastrophe of Galtür. Since its official service introduction in 2002, the S-70A Black Hawk has flown over accident-free 25,000 hours, transporting about 219,000 people and about 23,000 tons of external and internal loads.

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