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Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Military Helicopter

Date:
By: Marine Corps Veteran

The UH-60 Black Hawk is a medium utility helicopter used for a wide variety of applications including troop transport and medical evacuations. Since its introduction in 1979, the UH-60 has distinguished itself as being a great “one size fits all” medium-lift helicopter with distribution reaching to almost every corner of the world. Sikorsky built the UH-60 Black Hawk to withstand brutal ground fire while keeping passengers and crew safe.

UH-60
Images Courtesy of US Army

Performance:

Black Hawks have participated on the front line of conflicts spanning from Grenada to Afghanistan. They are even used as search-and-rescue helicopters in both commercial and military settings. Conventional versions of the UH-60 Black Hawk can transport up to 11 troops or carry 2,600 lbs. of cargo internally. When equipped with a load sling, the UH-60 can lift and transport up to 9,000 lbs.

UH-60
US Army

Variants:

Initial requirements for the UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft included modular design for easier repairs, high life-cycle of parts for fewer replacements, troop transport, and medical evacuation. It has since gone on to serve in a number of capacities including humanitarian aid and special operations insertion and extraction. A highly modified version of the UH-60 was even used in the acclaimed raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in 2011. The surviving tail rudder of one of the MH-60s indicated specialized stealth technology was used in its construction and electronic warfare modules were added to help evade Pakistani radar contact.



UH-60
Canadian Air Force

Customization:

Several version of the UH-60 Black Hawk are available for export from the United States. Foreign buyers are able to purchase specially designed versions for everything from commercial use to counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. Two ESSS (External Stores Support System) can be equipped with air-to-surface missiles, electronic warfare pods, or even extra fuel storage. When configured for extra fuel, the UH-60 Black Hawk can fly up to 1,381 miles before needing to refuel. Some models even have a refueling nozzle to allow in-flight refueling.



UH-60
Soldiers from the Australian Army 2nd Commando Regiment fast rope from an S-70A-9 Black Hawk from the Australian Army 171st Aviation Squadron during exercise Talisman Sabre 2015.
Australian Army

Upgrades:

Because this medium-lift helicopter has been in service since 1979, it has undergone major upgrades beginning in 1986. The improved UH-60L includes a hover IR suppression system (HIRSS) meant to mask or reduce the amount of heat kicking out of the engines while hovering.

Advanced Model:

In December of 2007, the United States Army ordered a new low-rate initial production (LRIP) upgrade to turn UH-60Ls into UH-60Ms. In total, Sikorsky is under contract to deliver 950 UH-60M aircraft by 2025. This newest design features more efficient rotors and better infrared suppression. Infrared suppression is important for evading detection and surface-to-air missile fire.

UH-60
Colombian Air Force

Capacity:

The crew of a UH-60 generally consists of two pilots, a crew chief and a door gunner. The door gunner and crew chief may be positioned on either side of the UH-60 and may be equipped with anything ranging from an M240G to an advanced General Electric M134 7.62mm 6-barreled minigun — depending upon mission requirements. The cargo bay of UH-60 may be equipped to transport up to 11 combat troops or be reconfigured to carry advanced electronic warfare equipment or even medical litters. With a reinforced bottom to help deflect anti-aircraft fire and titanium-cored rotors to protect against flak and ground fire, the UH-60 is an ideal helicopter to move troops in a highly contested area.



Sikorsky’s UH-60A Black Hawk is powered by two T700-GE-701D producing a combine total of 3,988 shp. The newer UH-60Ls use two T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines, each producing up to 1,800 shp.
Now see more incredible images of the Black Hawk helicopter.

See UH-60 Black Hawk Specifications

Length: 64 ft 10 in (19.76 m)
Rotor Length: 53 ft 8 in (16.36 m)
Height: 17 ft 0 in (5.18 m)
Empty Weight: 13,648 lb
Max. Takeoff Weight: 22,000 lbs (9,979 kg)
Speed: 151 kts (174 mph, 280 km/h)
Range: 276 nm (368 mi, 511 km), no reserve
Service Ceiling: 6,500 ft
Armament: Door guns, air-to-surface missiles such as the Hellfire and Stinger
Crew: 2 pilots plus 2 crewmen

Watch This Sikorsky UH-60 In Action