Challenges in acquiring Apache and Black Hawk helicopters for Ukraine's defense
Ukraine's new list of weapons requested from the United States includes helicopters, namely the Apache from Boeing and the Black Hawk from Sikorsky Aircraft (Lockheed Martin)
Acquiring more helicopters for Ukraine is crucial, but the prospect of receiving dozens of Black Hawks and Apaches from allies seems optimistic, Defense Express writes.
The AH-64 Apache, an American attack helicopter, has about 740 units in the U.S. military inventory as of 2023. While this number might suggest a surplus, practical challenges arise in reallocating them to Ukraine, as experienced with other equipment like Abrams or Bradley.
If the U.S. were to provide Apaches, it would likely be after replacements are ready, a process expected to extend until at least 2031, presenting a lengthy time frame.
Black Hawk insights
The UH-60 Black Hawk, in service since 1974, has several thousand units in various U.S. versions. While theoretically more accessible for Ukraine, logistical hurdles such as the need for weapons, spare parts, and maintenance must be considered. Allocating funds for helicopters might divert resources from other critical weapons.
While the possibility of Ukraine purchasing these helicopters exists, the costs and timelines for such acquisitions remain to be explored. The challenge lies not only in acquiring the helicopters but in ensuring they come with the necessary support for effective utilization.