Sweden receives first Black Hawk helicopters


The Swedish armed forces have received their first two UH-60 Black Hawks, 18 months after the government ordered 15 of the helicopters from Sikorsky.

The helicopters were handed over by the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, on Tuesday during a ceremony at the Linkoping-based Helicopter Wing. The new helicopters carry the Swedish designation Helicopter 16 (HKP 16).

Tuesday’s ceremony was attended by the Swedish Forces Supreme Commander, Sverker Goranson, Defense Minister Tolgfors and FMV Director-General Gunnar Holmgren.
“I’m very proud to welcome Helicopter 16. This system will play an important role within the helicopter battalion, not only nationally but also internationally. There is no doubt that Helicopter 16 will also strengthen the Armed Forces’ capability for future operations,” said Goranson.
“I want to express my gratitude to those who made this possible. That we stand here today is a testament to a fantastic effort from everyone involved, both here in Sweden and the United States.”

The helicopters will be based on the Helicopter Wing in Linköping. In place during the ceremony were also the newly trained engineers and pilots who have already begun working with the new helicopter system.
“The Black Hawk is a proven helicopter, which is one of the reasons that we now have them in place and ready to do its job right from the start. Helicopter 16 will bring new and expanded opportunities for Sweden to cooperate with other nations, as well as contribute to solving advanced tasks nationally,” said Tolgfors.

Sweden ordered the UH-60M with glass cockpit and modern digital avionics. Deliveries should be completed next year, after which ten will be deployed to Afghanistan to provide support to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) there.

Saab and Sikorsky Aerospace Services will support the Black Hawks, and recently signed an agreement to this effect. Saab will establish a maintenance organisation, supported by Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance personnel, for the helicopters comprising helicopter technicians and other technical support staff based at Malmslätt in Linköping, Sweden.