UAE Considering Combat Rescue Helicopter Buy

An HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter lifts an 8,000-pound load at the Sikorsky Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Aug. 6, 2019. Sikorsky courtesy photo.

The United Arab Emirates is weighing a buy of the same Combat Rescue Helicopter the Air Force is acquiring, and recently received details on how to proceed from the service’s program office, a USAF spokesman told Air Force Magazine.

Six countries are eyeing the HH-60W for their own use, but the UAE is the only one so far to receive price and availability information, according to Brian Brackens, a spokesman at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin subsidiary, is building the new helos to replace the Pave Hawk fleet.

"Combat Rescue Helicopters for foreign customers would be produced using the Air Force configuration as the baseline," Brackens said Sept. 12. "Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation would determine if the current production line is sufficient to support future customer demand."

Air Force Magazine recently reported that Sikorsky has created briefings for the six interested customers. While the company said adding foreign customers to the program would drive down the helicopter’s unit cost, the amount of reduction would depend on the specific features of each variant.

The CRH offers greater range, an updated cockpit, and new surveillance tools, among other improvements over the standard UH-60.