Greece has officially received approval from the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) for the purchase of 35 UH-60 Black Hawk multirole helicopters from US manufacturer Sikorsky, a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.
The deal, estimated at $1.95 billion (€1.78 billion), will replace the aging Bell UH-1 Iroquois operated by Greek Land Forces, currently being phased out.
The decision to acquire Black Hawks was made in October 2023, with initial reports suggesting an order of 49 units. While the Greek government had the option to turn to the Polish group PZL Mielec, which produces a variant of the UH-60 Black Hawk known as the S-70, it opted for the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) procedure instead.
However, the DSCA’s opinion issued on December 15, 2023, reduced the number to 35. The helicopters will be provided along with engines, missile warning systems, embedded global positioning systems, and various communication and radio systems.
Greece has already ordered seven MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for its naval forces, completing its fleet of S-70B “Aegean Hawk.” Both aircraft types are derivatives of the UH-60 Black Hawk.
In addition to the Black Hawks, Greece is reportedly considering the purchase of 14 AW-139 helicopters from the Italian group Leonardo for its combat search and rescue needs, replacing the current fleet of Super Puma helicopters.
First reported by the Greek portal On Alert, the decision to choose the AW-139 over the H175 from Airbus Helicopters and the UH-60 Black Hawk was based on the aircraft’s compatibility with the Hellenic Air Force’s requirements.