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Start / News and media / News Archive / Nyheter 2011 / World record for helicopter pr…

World record for helicopter procurement?

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In the summer of 2010 the Swedish Government decided that an entirely new helicopter systems would be procured. One and a half years later, the first two helicopters arrives at FMV in Linköping.

Black Hawke helicopters arrives in Sweden.

The first two Swedish Black Hawk helicopters came to Sweden in a C-17 transport aircraft. Project Manager Magnus Larsson, FMV, watched as they rolled into the Helicopter Wing Hangar 14. That as a private person buying a new car or a washing machine, then one and a half years is no short time. But if you're buying new military helicopters, it's almost a world record.

Magnus Larsson is a bit unsure if he wants to call the purchase of the helicopter for world record.

- Well, I do not really know. Ask me again in the second quarter of 2013 but so far it has gone beyond our expectations. There are many reasons why it has gone so fast. The staff at FMV that has worked incredibly hard and focused and the co-operation with the Swedish Armed Forces and the U.S. government has worked very well, says Magnus Larsson.

- And not least we have worked to obtain approvals related to the Swedish aviation rules and regulations. Helicopter 16 is a proven system. Over 3000 Black Hawk is supplied to various customers in the world and our job is to facilitate the Flight Safety Inspectorate to assess what the U.S. aviation authorities have already approved. There are thousands of details that should be examined but so far the arrangement worked, says Magnus Larsson.

Need for new helicopters
Delayed deliveries of other helicopter systems and the ongoing Swedish mission in Afghanistan has caused a shortfall of helicopters to clear own and other medical transportation.

In the summer of 2010 the government therefore decided that Sweden would raise a new medium weight helicopter system in addition to the 18 pieces of Helicopter 14 that were already ordered and partially delivered. The government says that the helicopters shall be operational in Afghanistan by the second quarter of 2013.

Intensive work period
For FMV and the Swedish Armed Forces personnel an intensive working period started which is not yet complete. To-do lists were very long: analyzing the market for medium-duty helicopter systems, negotiate rates with the various potential suppliers, to study the possibilities to implement education and training for technicians and pilots so that they are ready on time and also negotiate prices for education programs.

Different maintenance solutions and logistics concepts must also be considered and so on, page after page. Flight safety aspects are also included. And the most important question of all. How do you get at least some ready-made helicopters delivered at around Christmas 2011 so that FMV may submit them to the Swedish Armed Forces?

Several alternatives
There were several possible options, but in early 2011 FMV decided to start final negotiations with U.S. authorities about the purchase of 15 UH-60M Black Hawk from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the training of crews and technicians in the U.S. Army auspices. The final "purchase contract" was negotiated and was finally signed in August 2011.

The normal delivery time for a UH-60 M is 36 months but in November 2011 FMV Director General Gunnar Holmgren could receive the first Swedish helicopters from the U.S. Army in the Sikorsky helicopter plant in Stratford outside of New York a few months after ordering.

And in December, a month after the visit to Stratford, then the first two Swedish Blackhawk landed on Swedish soil

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Published: 2011-12-21 16:23. Changed: 2011-12-21 16:33. Responsible: Show e-mail address.