The State Department on Thursday approved a proposed $2 billion sale of Black Hawk helicopters to Australia.
Australia requested to purchase 40 Black Hawks, 88 engines and a range of communications equipment, training devices, logistics support and sensors for the aircraft, according to an announcement published by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
The new Black Hawks will “replace Australia’s current multirole helicopter fleet with a more reliable and proven system” that will improve the capabilities of the Australian Army, according to the announcement.
Lockheed Martin is the principal contractor for the sale. Its subsidiary, Sikorsky, produces the Black Hawk, which the Army has said it will replace with the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft.
Sikorsky executives and industry analysts have said they expect the Black Hawk to remain in high demand overseas. The helicopter is flown by 28 countries other than the U.S., according to Sikorsky’s website.
“Black Hawk is still very ubiquitous and in-demand around the world,” Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo previously said.
The DSCA announcement said the sale supports U.S. strategic goals in the Pacific by bolstering Australia’s national defense.
“The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region,” the announcement states. “It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”