US aerospace company United Aero Group and international defence provider of defence Patria have entered into initial cooperation to offer upgraded UH-60 Black Hawks to the European market.
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Both companies have announced their intentions to build a modernisation program to acquire pre-owned UH-60 US Army Black Hawk helicopters, perform refurbishment programs and upgrades including mission kit installations.
The program is set to start in 2024 and supply US UH-60 Black Hawks able to undertake missions with increased efficiency and capabilities.
“We are pleased to announce our first steps aimed at building a joint program between Patria and UAG, trusted partners in the aviation industry,” according to Hugo Vanbockryck, Patria market area Europe senior vice-president.
“With this collaboration, we can deliver and maintain proven, refurbished, and upgraded Black Hawk helicopters across Europe.
“By combining our expertise and resources, we aim to provide unmatched support, ensuring the optimal performance and readiness of these critical assets for our defence industry customers all over Europe, including new operators transitioning from older Eastern platforms to modern Western ones.”
Patria will also offer local sustainment support for future years through the Patria OPTIME modular sustainment solution.
The program is expected to offer cost-effectiveness, short delivery times, and customisation to various military and law enforcement aviation clients. The helicopters could be utilised for utility operations, medevac, search and rescue missions, and firefighting missions.
“United Aero Group is very happy to start our cooperation with Patria for providing modernised Black Hawk aircraft into Europe,” said John Plume, United Aero Group program management director.
“We are looking forward to partnering with Patria for aircraft deliveries and follow on support throughout the region.”
Earlier this year, Finland announced the purchase of 91 Patria 6x6 armoured vehicles as part of a multinational program with Latvia, Sweden, and Germany.
Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command made the vehicle order with spare parts, maintenance, and a purchase option for an additional 70 vehicles as part of the Finland-led Common Armoured Vehicle Systems program.
The Patria 6x6 agreement signing was attended by Chief of Finnish Defence Forces Logistics Command Major General Jari Mikkonen.
Deliveries of the vehicles are expected to begin this year after Finnish Defence Forces acquired three pre-series vehicles for test use during 2022.
As part of the multinational CAVS program, Sweden has ordered its first 20 vehicles and deliveries to Latvia have been underway since 2021.