Following the news that Australia has confirmed the acquisition of 40 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for an estimated $1.96 billion (A$2.8 billion) from the US; Harshavardhan Dabbiru, Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view: “The growing influence of China in the Indo-Pacific has driven the defence spending and the modernization plans of Australia in the recent years. GlobalData’s latest report ‘Military Rotorcraft Market 2022–2032’ reveals that the Australian Military Rotorcraft market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 3.94% from $757.2 million in 2022 to $1.1 billion in 2032.
“Over the years, the MRH90 Taipan helicopters have been plagued with several operational and maintenance issues, which compelled Australia to retire them almost a decade before they were scheduled to be withdrawn from service.
“The Australian Defence Forces (ADF) has been operating Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters built by Sikorsky for over 30 years, and the platforms have so far proven to be reliable. In addition, the better availability of spares and support with the Black Hawk helicopters has been another major factor driving the purchase decision.
The new UH-60M Black Hawk multi-role helicopters are expected to assist the forces in various roles, including troop transport and logistics, search and rescue, aerial surveillance, and close-air support. The deliveries of the helicopters are expected to start by the end of 2023.”