Slovakia replaces Mi-17 helicopters with American Black Hawks

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter

Slovakia has agreed to buy nine US Black Hawk helicopters to replace its outdated Russian Mi-17 fleet, further reducing the country’s military dependence on Moscow. “The decision to reduce our dependence on Russia was taken even before the conflict in Ukraine began and considering recent developments it proved to be a good one,” Defence Ministry spokesman Martin Cambalik said of the $261m deal last week. “We could have had some [of the M-17s] repaired but EU sanctions forbid the import of Russian spare parts,” he said.
Last year, Slovakia signed a deal with Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi for two Spartan C-27J transport aircraft to replace Russian Antonovs. The authorities in Bratislava have also been in talks with the Swedish government on leasing Gripen fighter jets to replace its Russian Mig-29s.