Greece OKs Purchase of Black Hawk Helicopters

Athens wants to buy 35 helicopters
  • bureau
  • 11:18 AM, April 3, 2024
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Greece OKs Purchase of Black Hawk Helicopters
Black Hawk helicopter

The Greek House Arms Committee approved the procurement of 35 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters on Tuesday.

This was reported by Greek publication Kathimerini on Wednesday.

This approval now paves the way for the Government Council for National Security (KYSEA) to authorize the General Directorate for Defense Investments and Armaments (GDDIA) to finalize the acquisition process by signing the U.S. letter of acceptance (LOA), thereby initiating the program implementation.

The necessary signatures for the purchase are anticipated to be inked by the end of the week, facilitating the U.S. government's subsequent allocation of the Greek Black Hawks on the production line.

The introduction of these new helicopters is expected to enhance the airborne operations capabilities of the Hellenic Army. However, challenges persist, notably with regards to the damaged airfield infrastructure following the complete destruction of Stefanovikeio Air Base by Storm Daniel last summer.

The impending procurement represents a critical modernization effort, particularly concerning the replacement of the Army Air Force’s outdated fleet of 56 UH-1 Huey helicopters. Originally acquired in 1969, these single-engine Hueys have become increasingly rare due to a lack of support infrastructure.

To ensure operational readiness and longevity of the newly acquired assets, a comprehensive support framework is being put in place. A two-year follow-on support contract (FOS) is set to accompany the acquisition, while military authorities are concurrently devising a meticulous five-year support plan aimed at maintaining high asset availability.

Army General Staff sources revealed to Kathimerini that the decision to incorporate the Black Hawk helicopters aligns with efforts to standardize equipment and optimize air asset support. Notably, the Black Hawks share similarities with both the Navy’s Apaches and MH-60 Romeos, as well as the S-70 Aegean Hawk, further streamlining maintenance and operational procedures.

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