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Saudi Arabia buying additional 25 Black Hawks

Saudi Black Hawk and AH-6 helicopters
Saudi Arabian National Guard photo of Black Hawk and AH-6 helicopters at SANG's Khashm al `An airbase in Riyadh

The Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) is buying 25 modified UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters from Sikorsky under a $99.9 million contract from March 24.

The contract modification that was announced by the Pentagon follows a $200 million order from 2018. The 17 Black Hawks ordered three years ago were delivered to the Royal Saudi Land Forces Airborne Special Security Forces and the Saudi Arabian National Guard, an elite unit tasked with protecting the royal family from coups.

Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, is to deliver the additional 25 helicopters by October 2024.

The UH-60M has been a workhorse of the US Army since the 1970s and is in service with 27 other nations. It can perform a wide range of missions including air assault, MEDEVAC, CSAR, command and control, and VIP transport. The UH-60M has a crew of four and can transport 11 troops.

In addition to the Black Hawks that have already been delivered to the Saudi Arabian National Guard under the contract from 2018, the branch also operates Boeing’s AH-6 light helicopter gunships and AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.

Since buying the first Black Hawks, Saudi Arabia has also invested $30 million into transportable Blackhawk operations simulator training systems that are built by Rockwell Collins. The flight simulator provides high-fidelity flight training device capability for UH-60L and UH-60M helicopters.

SANG units training with a Black Hawk helicopter