Procurement: The Big Deal And Why It's Important


July 20, 2012:  The U.S. Army and Navy have ordered 653 Blackhawk and Seahawk helicopters. This will cost $8.5 billion and cover five years of deliveries. The contract also allows ordering up to 263 additional helicopters at the same price per aircraft, if an emergency arose. Both the Blackhawk and Seahawk are variants of the basic S-60 design. The army will be receiving UH-60M transport and HH-60M medical helicopters while the navy will receive MH-60R and MH-60S models. The export version of S-60 is the S-70.

The U.S. Army and Navy have increasingly convinced Congress to allow the services to jointly buy large quantities of items both need and do this for items that will be delivered over several years. In the past the military services tended to purchase year by year. Buying smaller quantities, annually, drove up the cost of each item.

All these helicopters (UH-60, HH-60, MH-60) are militarized versions of the Sikorsky S-70, a 1970s design that won the competition to replace the older UH-1 "Huey". The army currently has about 2,000 UH-60s and is upgrading the force with the new "M" model. So far, about 2,800 UH-60s have been built.

The UH-60 was introduced in 1979. The 11 ton UH-60M can carry 14 troops, or 1.1 tons of cargo internally, or four tons slung underneath. Cruise speed is 278 kilometers an hour. Max endurance is two hours, although most sorties last 90 minutes or less. Max altitude is 5,790 meters (19,000 feet).



Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close