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USAF to buy 112 UH-60Ms

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 25, 2010

The USAF has proposed buying 112 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawks and converting them to an HH-60L configuration for Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR) work to replace the service’s ageing fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawks.

The decision comes in the wake of the abandonment of the CSAR-X program earlier this year and an urgent requirement to replace the oldest HH-60Gs, some of which are more than 20 years old.

The original CSAR-X competition was won in 2006 by Boeing’s HH-47 Chinook over the Lockheed Martin/AgustaWestland HH-71 (EH-101) and the Sikorsky HH-92 (S-92), but protests from the losing bidders were upheld by the US Government Accountability Office in early 2009. In the meantime, the USAF’s CSAR-X fleet has dwindled to fewer than 100 aircraft due to combat losses in Afghanistan and the need to retire aged aircraft.

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