By Ms. Kim C Gillespie (USASAC)April 23, 2013
Foreign military sales are based on processes, promises and people. And the Security Assistance Command used all three to complete a delivery of two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters with a special configuration for Jordan, ending a case that began with the country's initial request in 2006.
"The aircraft were delivered to the Royal Jordanian Air Force on April 1 at Marka Air Force Base, Amman, Jordan," USASAC's Jordan country program manager Ed Gray said. "The two UH-60M aircraft were flown from Sabreliner Corp., in Perryville, Mo., where they were loaded on an UAE C-17 cargo aircraft at St. Louis Mid America Airport and flown to Jordan."
The timeline for FMS cases extends from cradle to grave. And ensuring that international partners get the materiel and the capability they need requires not only USASAC but an enterprise of people with expertise to sustain the process and the promise.
"AMCOM (Aviation and Missile Command) SAMD (Security Assistance Management Directorate) was tasked to develop the case in coordination with PEO (Program Executive Office) Aviation's Utility Helicopter Project Office," Gray said.
The original Letter of Offer and Acceptance was for two UH-60 aircraft to be specially outfitted as required by Jordan.
"However, decisions on configuration and model -- L versus M -- delayed program milestones/delivery schedules," Gray said. The upgrade to UH-60M aircraft required amended congressional notification which was completed in June 2008, and requirements were finalized and the amendment for the specially configured "M" models were implemented in October 2010.
But the special configuration of the aircraft required additional industry coordination by another organization, AMRDEC's Prototype Integration Facility.
"Sikorsky delivered two UH-60M 'Green' aircraft and Sabreliner was contracted through the PIF to complete the special configuration," Gray said.
Gray, who has worked as the Jordan country program manager since 2012, emphasized that the importance of this delivery is more than just equipment delivery because of the longstanding relationship between the U.S. and Jordan.
"The Jordanians wanted the best helicopters in the world so they purchased these for use by the Jordanian Royal Air Force," he said. "And these are fit for a king, a Jordanian king."