VILNIUS, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania plans to acquire six new U.S.-made military helicopters UH-60M Black Hawk by 2024, the country's Ministry of Defence announced on Friday.
According to the ministry, it has decided to replace Russian Mi-8 helicopters currently used by the Lithuanian Armed Forces and to start negotiations on the acquisition of the new military helicopters.
"Currently the Lithuanian Armed Forces use three operational helicopters Mi-8 which will soon be depleted, and three AS365N3 Dauphin, which are mainly used for search and rescue and environmental monitoring in Lithuania," said Minister of Defence Raimundas Karoblis in a statement released by his ministry.
The ministry estimated that the acquisition cost would amount to about 300 million euros (334.1 million U.S. dollars).
The ministry plans to sign the acquisition contract by the end of 2020. The first new helicopters should arrive to Lithuania by the end of 2024, the ministry said.