WASHINGTON --- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Mexico for UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopters and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $110 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 16, 2015.
The Government of Mexico has requested a possible sale of three UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in standard U.S. Government configuration, with designated unique equipment, Government Furnished Equipment (GFE), six T700-GE-701D engines, six H-764G Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGIs), six M134 7.62mm Machine Guns, three Star Safire III Forward Looking Infrared Radar Systems, three Aviation Mission Planning Systems, twelve AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles, and one Aviation Ground Power Unit.
Also included are spare and repair parts, support equipment, communication equipment, facility construction, air worthiness support, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, warranties, U.S. Government and contractor technical, engineering, and logistics support services, and other related element of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $110 million.
This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner. Mexico has been a strong partner in combating organized crime and drug trafficking organizations. The sale of these UH-60M helicopters to Mexico will significantly increase and strengthen its capability to provide in-country airlift support for its forces engaged in counter-drug operations.
Mexico intends to use these defense articles and services to modernize its armed forces and expand its existing naval/maritime support in its efforts to combat drug trafficking organizations.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The principal contractors will be the Sikorsky Aircraft Company in Stratford, Connecticut; and General Electric Aircraft Company (GEAC) in Lynn, Massachusetts. There are no known offset agreements in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale may require the assignment of one additional U.S. Government representative and one contractor representative in country full-time to support the delivery and training for approximately two years.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Even with add-ons, training, spares and support, the cost of the above contract works out to about $37 million per helicopter.
This is a nice mark-up, given that the latest, March 2 contract for UH-60 production is worth $241.7 million for 22 aircraft, or $11.9 million each.
This is also roughly the same price also being paid by Tunisia; a contract awarded Mar 17, for eight “Green-configured” UH-60Ms, is worth $93 million (or about $11.6 million each.)
Mexico is probably not getting the best deal available, especially as FMS sales are supposed to use the same price as that paid by US users.)