Black Hawk Helicopters: In the Final Straight Negotiations

The direction in the negotiations of his new military leadership to acquire new weapons systems such as UH-60 helicopters is now clear. At the top of priorities for the Ministry of National Defence is the acquisition of 35 Black Hawk helicopters. All agreements must be transnational in order to achieve the best unit prices at the cost purchased by the construction countries with simultaneous similar guarantees in the terms of contracts, and it is necessary to ensure support through Follow On Support (FOS) over a period of time with the possibility of renewal. In particular, the issue of support is now being raised at the top of the staff and the authority responsible for the conclusion of the EUPM contracts to concentrate, inter alia, negotiations on the issue of FOS. The acquisition of the 35 Black Hawk helicopters for the needs of the Land Army and the Special War Command is at the top of priorities for the GSC and the ICC following the re-evaluation of equipment programs carried out by political and military leadership. Negotiations following the mission of the LOA concerned proceed with the aim of being completed by the end of the month. The total cost for the acquisition of 35 UH-60 reaches around 1.1 billion euros and other than helicopters includes an additional five T-700/401D engines, a self-protection system and a quantity of spare parts, while the four helicopters intended for the DEP will have additional equipment eight collections for rapid demolition and four 7.62 mm machine guns per helicopter. However, given that Black Hawk will replace the aged UH-1 Huey and will be invited to undertake a number of missions that will be translated into thousands of flight hours over the next few years, as a prerequisite for the conclusion of the agreement it is considered necessary to conclude a contract for Follow On Support at a depth of at least five years with the possibility of renewal. This is because of helicopters that will lift the weight for several decades. However, the FOS agreement also entails considerable additional costs, which will be added to the 1.1 billion which is concerned with the acquisition of 35 helicopters. However, if necessary, the Americans will be asked to extend beyond the end of March until negotiations are concluded. The next step will be the approval of the agreement by the CYSA to pave the way for the signing of the relevant contracts. The agreement will be transnational to follow the activation of the start of construction on the slots of the manufacturer which are already committed on behalf of Greece. According to the schedule, the delivery of all 35 Black Hawk helicopters will be completed by the end of 2027 and the training of crews in the new helicopters will have begun, with their repayment completed by 2031. The agreement will be implemented through the FMS (Foreign MilitaryServices) programme which allows a flexible and backward payment schedule given that other programs will also be repaid at the same time, including the F-35 fighter acquisition program. Source: Onalert.gr

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