Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine,
medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft.
Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the
United States Army's
Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition in
1972. The Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected
the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off
competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61.
Named after the Native American war leader Black Hawk, the UH-60A
entered service with the U.S. Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1
Iroquois as the Army's tactical transport helicopter. This was
followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations
variants of the Black Hawk. Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility
variants have also been developed. Modified versions have also been
developed for the U.S. Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In addition
to U.S. Army use, the UH-60 family has been exported to several
nations. Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in
Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and other
areas in the Middle East.
1.1 Initial requirement
1.2 Upgrades and variations
3 Operational history
China (People's Republic of China)
Taiwan (Republic of China)
3.11 United States
3.12 Other and potential users
4.1 Utility variants
4.3 Export versions
5 Military operators
7 Specifications (UH-60L)
8 See also
10 External links
In the late 1960s, the
United States Army
United States Army began forming requirements
for a helicopter to replace the UH-1 Iroquois, and designated the
program as the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS). The
Army also initiated the development of a new, common turbine engine
for its helicopters that would become the General Electric T700. Based
on experience in Vietnam, the Army required significant performance,
survivability and reliability improvements from both UTTAS and the new
powerplant. The Army released its UTTAS request for proposals (RFP)
in January 1972. The RFP also included air transport requirements.
Transport aboard the C-130 limited the UTTAS cabin height and
The UTTAS requirements for improved reliability, survivability and
lower life-cycle costs resulted in features such as dual-engines with
improved hot and high altitude performance, and a modular design
(reduced maintenance footprint); run-dry gearboxes; ballistically
tolerant, redundant subsystems (hydraulic, electrical and flight
controls); crashworthy crew (armored) and troop seats; dual-stage oleo
main landing gear; ballistically tolerant, crashworthy main structure;
quieter, more robust main and tail rotor systems; and a ballistically
tolerant, crashworthy fuel system.
UH-60A Black Hawks over Port Salinas during the invasion of Grenada,
1983. The conflict saw the first use of the UH-60 in combat.
Four prototypes were constructed, with the first YUH-60A flying on 17
October 1974. Prior to delivery of the prototypes to the US Army, a
preliminary evaluation was conducted in November 1975 to ensure the
aircraft could be operated safely during all testing. Three of the
prototypes were delivered to the Army in March 1976, for evaluation
against the rival
Boeing-Vertol design, the YUH-61A, and one was kept
by Sikorsky for internal research. The Army selected the UH-60 for
production in December 1976. Deliveries of the UH-60A to the Army
began in October 1978 and the helicopter entered service in June
Upgrades and variations
After entering service, the helicopter was modified for new missions
and roles, including mine laying and medical evacuation. An EH-60
variant was developed to conduct electronic warfare and special
operations aviation developed the MH-60 variant to support its
Due to weight increases from the addition of mission equipment and
other changes, the Army ordered the improved UH-60L in 1987. The new
model incorporated all of the modifications made to the UH-60A fleet
as standard design features. The UH-60L also featured more power and
lifting capability with upgraded T700-GE-701C engines and a stronger
gearbox, both developed for the SH-60B Seahawk. Its external lift
capacity increased by 1,000 lb (450 kg) up to 9,000 lb
(4,100 kg). The UH-60L also incorporated the automatic flight
control system (AFCS) from the SH-60 for better flight control due to
handling issues with the more powerful engines. Production of the
L-model began in 1989.
UH-60s equipped with machine guns near An Najaf,
Iraq in May 2005.
Development of the next improved variant, the UH-60M, was approved in
2001, to extend the service life of the UH-60 design into the 2020s.
The UH-60M incorporates upgraded T700-GE-701D engines, improved rotor
blades, and state of the art electronic instrumentation, flight
controls and aircraft navigation control. After the U.S. DoD approved
low-rate initial production of the new variant, manufacturing
began in 2006, with the first of 22 new UH-60Ms delivered in July
2006. After an initial operational evaluation, the Army approved
full-rate production and a five-year contract for 1,227 helicopters in
December 2007. By March 2009, 100 UH-60M helicopters had been
delivered to the Army. In November 2014, US military ordered 102
aircraft of various H-60 types, worth $1.3 billion.
Following an operation in May 2011, it emerged that the 160th SOAR
used a secret version of the UH-60 modified with low-observable
technology which enabled it to evade Pakistani radar. Analysis of the
tail section, the only remaining part of the aircraft which crashed
during the operation, revealed extra blades on the tail rotor
and other noise reduction measures, making the craft much quieter than
conventional UH-60s. The aircraft appeared to include features like
special high-tech materials, harsh angles, and flat surfaces found
only in stealth jets.[Nb 1] Low observable versions of the Black
Hawk have been studied as far back as the mid-1970s.
In September 2012, Sikorsky was awarded a Combat Tempered Platform
Demonstration (CTPD) contract to further improve the Black Hawk's
durability and survivability. The company is to develop new
technologies such as a zero-vibration system, adaptive flight control
laws, advanced fire management, a more durable main rotor,
full-spectrum crashworthiness, and damage tolerant airframe; then they
are to transition them to the helicopter. Improvements to the Black
Hawk are to continue until the
Future Vertical Lift program is ready
to replace it.
In December 2014, the
101st Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division began testing of new
resupply equipment called the Enhanced Speed Bag System (ESBS).
Soldiers pinned down in the field requiring quick resupply have
depended on speed bags, bags filled with items airdropped from a
UH-60. However, all systems were ad-hoc with bags not made to keep
things secure from impacts, so up to half of the airdropped items
would be damaged upon hitting the ground. Started in 2011, the ESBS
sought to standardize the airdrop resupply method and keep up to 90
percent of supplies intact. The system includes a hands-free reusable
linear brake and expendable speed line and multipurpose cargo bag;
when the bag is deployed, the brake applies friction to the rope,
slowing it down enough to keep the bag oriented down on the padded
base, a honeycomb and foam kit inside to dissipate energy. The ESBS
not only better protects helicopter-dropped supplies, it allows the
Black Hawk to fly higher above the ground, 100 ft (30 m) up
from 10 feet, while traveling 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h),
limiting exposure to ground fire. Each bag can weigh 125–200 lb
(57–91 kg) and up to six can be deployed at once, dropping
40–50 feet per second (12–15 m/s). Since supplies can be
delivered more accurately and the system can be automatically released
on its own, the ESBS can enable autonomous resupply from unmanned
UH-60A Black Hawk parked on flight line
The UH-60 features four-blade main and tail rotors, and is powered by
General Electric T700
General Electric T700 turboshaft engines. The main rotor is
fully articulated and has elastomeric bearings in the rotor head. The
tail rotor is canted and features a rigid crossbeam. The
helicopter has a long, low profile shape to meet the Army's
requirement for transporting aboard a C-130 Hercules, with some
disassembly. It can carry 11 troops with equipment, lift 2,600
pounds (1,200 kg) of cargo internally or 9,000 pounds
(4,100 kg) of cargo (for UH-60L/M) externally by sling.
The Black Hawk helicopter series can perform a wide array of missions,
including the tactical transport of troops, electronic warfare, and
aeromedical evacuation. A VIP version known as the VH-60N is used to
transport important government officials (e.g., Congress, Executive
departments) with the helicopter's call sign of "Marine One" when
transporting the President of the United States. In air assault
operations, it can move a squad of 11 combat troops or reposition a
M119 howitzer with 30 rounds ammunition, and a four-man
crew in a single lift. The Black Hawk is equipped with advanced
avionics and electronics for increased survivability and capability,
such as the Global Positioning System.
A view of a UH-60L cockpit
The UH-60 can be equipped with stub wings at the top of fuselage to
carry fuel tanks or various armaments. The initial stub wing system is
called External Stores Support System (ESSS). It has two pylons on
each wing to carry two 230 US gal (870 L) and two
450 US gal (1,700 L) tanks in total. The four fuel
tanks and associated lines and valves form the external extended range
fuel system (ERFS). U.S. Army UH-60s have had their ESSS modified
into the crashworthy external fuel system (CEFS) configuration,
replacing the older tanks with up to four total 200 US gal
(760 L) crashworthy tanks along with self-sealing fuel lines.
The ESSS can also carry 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) of armament
such as rockets, missiles and gun pods. The ESSS entered
service in 1986. However, it was found that the four fuel tanks
obstruct the field of fire for the door guns; thus, the external tank
system (ETS), carrying two fuel tanks on the stub wings, was
The unit cost of the H-60 models varies due to differences in
specifications, equipment and quantities. For example, the unit cost
of the Army's UH-60L Black Hawk is $5.9 million while the unit
cost of the Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk is $10.2 million.
Australia has 34 Black Hawks as of 2015[update]. It has deployed the
aircraft to East Timor and the Solomon Islands. It did not
deploy Black Hawks to
Afghanistan because Angus Houston, the
then-defence chief, advised the government that the aircraft lacked
armour and self-defence systems.
Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force UH-60L
Brazil received four UH-60L helicopters in 1997, for the Brazilian
Army peacekeeping forces. It received six UH-60Ls configured for
special forces, and search and rescue use in 2008. It ordered ten more
UH-60Ls in 2009; deliveries began in March 2011.
China (People's Republic of China)
In December 1983, examples of the Aerospatiale AS-332 Super Puma, Bell
214ST SuperTransport and Sikorsky S-70A-5 (N3124B) were airlifted to
Lhasa for testing. These demonstrations included take-offs and
landings at altitudes to 17,000 feet (5,200 m) and en route
operations to 24,000 feet (7,300 m). At the end of this testing,
People's Liberation Army Air Force
People's Liberation Army Air Force purchased 24 S-70C-2s, equipped
with more powerful GE T700-701A engines for improved high-altitude
performance. While designated as civil variants of the S-70 for
export purposes, they are operated by the
People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army Air
Taiwan (Republic of China)
Taiwan operated S-70C-1/1A after the Republic of
China Air Force
received ten S-70C-1A and four S-70C-1 Bluehawk helicopters in June
1986, for Search And Rescue. Four further S-70C-6s were received
in April 1998. The ROC Navy received the first of ten S-70C(M)-1s in
July 1990. 11 S-70C(M)-2s were received beginning April 2000. In
January 2010, the US announced a Foreign Military Sale of 60 UH-60Ms
Taiwan for the ROC Army.
Colombia first received UH-60s from the
United States in 1987. The
Colombian National Police, Colombian Air Force, and
Colombian Army use
UH-60s to transport troops and supplies to places which are difficult
to access by land for counter-insurgency (COIN) operations against
drug and guerrilla organizations, for search and rescue, and for
Colombia also operates a militarized gunship
version of the UH-60, with stub wings, locally known as Arpía
Colombian Army became the first worldwide operator of the S-70i
with Terrain Awareness and Warning Capability (HTAWS) after taking
delivery of the first two units on 13 August 2013.
In March 2017, the
National Police of Colombia
National Police of Colombia ordered 10 additional
UH-60 helicopters that will increase their total to 19 helicopters in
Israel Air Force
Israel Air Force UH-60 Yanshuf
Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force (IAF) received 10 surplus UH-60A Black Hawks
United States in August 1994. Named Yanshuf (English:
Owl) by the IAF, the UH-60A began replacing
Bell 212 utility
helicopters. The IAF first used the UH-60s in combat during 1996
in southern Lebanon in Operation "Grapes of Wrath" against the
Mexican Air Force
Mexican Air Force ordered its first two UH-60Ls in 1991, to
transport special forces units, and another four in 1994. In July
and August 2009, the Federal Police used UH-60s in attacks on drug
traffickers. In August 2011, the
Mexican Navy received three
upgraded and navalized UH-60M. On 21 April 2014, the U.S. State
Department approved the sale of 18 UH-60Ms to
Mexico pending approval
from Congress. In September 2014, Sikorsky received a $203.6
million firm-fixed-price contract modification for the 18 UH-60
designated for the Mexican Air Force.
In February 2015, the U.S. State Department approved a possible
Foreign Military Sale of nine UH-60Ms with associated equipment and
Slovakia and sent to Congress for its approval. In
April 2015, Slovakia's government approved the procurement of nine
UH-60Ms along with training and support. In September 2015,
Sikorsky was contracted for four UH-60Ms and equipment for
Slovakia. In June 2017 the first 2 UH-60Ms were delivered. By late
Slovakia is to have 9 UH-60Ms in total that will replace the old
Soviet Mil Mi-17s.
Sweden requested 15 UH-60M helicopters by Foreign Military Sale in
September 2010. The UH-60Ms were ordered in May 2011, and
deliveries began in January 2012. In March 2013, Swedish ISAF
forces began using Black Hawks in
Afghanistan for MEDEVAC
purposes. The UH-60Ms are to be fully operational by 2017.
Turkish Land Forces
Turkish Land Forces UH-60 inside of a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
while being transported to
Afghanistan in order to support Operation
Turkey has operated the UH-60 during NATO deployments to Afghanistan
and the Balkans. The UH-60 has also been used in
counter-terror/internal security operations.
The Black Hawk competed against the
AgustaWestland AW149 in the
Turkish General Use
Helicopter Tender, to order up to 115 helicopters
and produce many of them indigenously, with Turkish Aerospace
Industries responsible for final integration and assembly. On
21 April 2011,
Turkey announced the selection of Sikorsky's
In the course of the coup d'état attempt in
Turkey on 15 July 2016,
eight Turkish military personnel of various ranks landed in Greece′s
northeastern city of
Alexandroupolis on board the Black Hawk
helicopter and claimed political asylum in Greece. The helicopter
was returned to
Turkey shortly thereafter.
U.S. Army MH-60L during the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993
The UH-60 entered service with the U.S. Army's 101st Combat Aviation
Brigade of the
101st Airborne Division
101st Airborne Division in June 1979. The U.S.
military first used the UH-60 in combat during the invasion of Grenada
in 1983, and again in the invasion of
Panama in 1989. During the Gulf
War in 1991, the UH-60 participated in the largest air assault mission
in U.S. Army history with over 300 helicopters involved. Two UH-60s
(89-26214 and 78-23015) were shot down, both on 27 February 1991,
while performing Combat Search and Rescue of other downed aircrews, an
F-16C pilot and the crew of a MEDEVAC UH-1H that were shot down
earlier that day.
In 1993, Black Hawks featured prominently in the assault on Mogadishu
in Somalia. Black Hawks also saw action in the
the 1990s. U.S. Army UH-60s and other helicopters conducted many
air assault and other support missions during the 2003 invasion of
Iraq. The UH-60 has continued to serve in operations in Afghanistan
Customs and Border Protection
Office of Air and Marine
Office of Air and Marine (OAM) uses the
UH-60 in its operations specifically along the southwest border. The
Black Hawk has been used by OAM to interdict illegal entry into the
U.S. Additionally, OAM regularly uses the UH-60 in search and rescue
Highly modified H-60s were employed during the U.S.
mission that resulted in the death of
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden on 1 May
2011. One such MH-60 helicopter crash-landed during the
operation, and was destroyed by the team before it departed in the
other MH-60 and a backup MH-47 Chinook with bin Laden's remains. Two
MH-47s were used for the mission to refuel the two MH-60s and as
backups. News media reported that the Pakistani government granted
the Chinese military access to the wreckage of the crashed 'stealth'
UH-60 variant in Abbotabad;
China denied the
reports, and the U.S. Government has not confirmed Chinese
Other and potential users
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates requested 14 UH-60M helicopters and
associated equipment in September 2008, through Foreign Military
Sale. It had received 20 UH-60Ls by November 2010. Bahrain
ordered nine UH-60Ms in 2007.
In November 2009, the Iraqi government requested the sale of up to 27
light and medium utility helicopters, including 12 UH-60Ms.[citation
In December 2011, the
Royal Brunei Air Force
Royal Brunei Air Force ordered twelve S-70i
helicopters, which are similar to the UH-60M; four aircraft had been
received by December 2013. On 12 June 2012, the U.S. Defense
Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress that Qatar requested the
purchase of twelve UH-60Ms, engines, and associated equipment.
On 25 February 2013, the
Indonesian Army announced its interest in
buying UH-60 Black Hawks as part of its effort to modernize its
weaponry. The army wants them for combating terrorism, transnational
crime, and insurgency to secure the archipelago.
On 27 May 2014, Croatian Defence Minister Ante Kotromanović announced
the beginning of negotiations with the US Secretary of Defense Chuck
Hagel for the purchase of 15 used Black Hawks; the deal is expected to
be completed by 2017.
Tunisia requested 12 armed UH-60M helicopters in July 2014 through
Foreign Military Sale. In August 2014, the U.S. ambassador stated
that the U.S. "will soon make available" the UH-60Ms to Tunisia.
On 23 January 2015, the Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin
Hussein confirmed that
Royal Malaysian Air Force
Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is receiving
S-70A Blackhawks from the
Brunei government. These helicopters,
believed to be four in total, were expected to be transferred to
Malaysia by September with M134D miniguns added. The four Blackhawks
were delivered to
Royal Brunei Air Force
Royal Brunei Air Force (RBAF) in 1999 are
currently operated by the 4th Squadron.
The UH-60 comes in many variants, and many different modifications.
The U.S. Army variants can be fitted with the stub wings to carry
additional fuel tanks or weapons. Variants may have different
capabilities and equipment to fulfill different roles.
Six UH-60L Black Hawks from B Company "Lancers", 5th Battalion, 101st
Aviation Regiment, on an air assault mission in Iraq
U.S. Army UH-60A MEDEVAC evacuating simulated casualties during a
YUH-60A: Initial test and evaluation version for U.S. Army. First
flight on 17 October 1974; three built.
UH-60A Black Hawk: Original U.S. Army version, carrying a crew of four
and up to 11 equipped troops. Equipped with T700-GE-700
engines. Produced 1977–1989. U.S. Army is equipping UH-60As with
more powerful T700-GE-701D engines and also upgrading A-models to
UH-60C Black Hawk: Modified version for
Command and control
Command and control (C2)
CH-60E: Proposed troop transport variant for the U.S. Marine
UH-60L Black Hawk: UH-60A with upgraded T700-GE-701C engines, improved
durability gearbox, and updated flight control system. Produced
1989–2007. UH-60Ls are also being equipped with the GE
UH-60V Black Hawk: Upgraded version of the UH-60L with the electronic
displays (glass cockpit) of the UH-60M. Upgrades performed by Northrop
Grumman featuring a centralized processor with a partitioned, modular
operational flight program enabling capabilities to be added as
UH-60M Black Hawk: Improved design wide chord rotor blades,
T700-GE-701D engines (max 2,000 shp or 1,500 kW each),
improved durability gearbox, Integrated Vehicle Health Management
System (IVHMS) computer, and new glass cockpit. Production began in
2006. Planned to replace older U.S. Army UH-60s.
UH-60M Upgrade Black Hawk: UH-60M with fly-by-wire system and Common
Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit suite. Flight testing
began in August 2008.
EH-60A Black Hawk: UH-60A with modified electrical system and stations
for two electronic systems mission operators. All examples of type
have been converted back to standard UH-60A configuration.
YEH-60B Black Hawk: UH-60A modified for special radar and avionics
installations, prototype for stand-off target acquisition system.
EH-60C Black Hawk: UH-60A modified with special electronics equipment
and external antenna. (All examples of type have been taken back
to standard UH-60A configuration.)
EUH-60L (no official name assigned): UH-60L modified with additional
mission electronic equipment for Army Airborne C2.
EH-60L Black Hawk: EH-60A with major mission equipment upgrade.
UH-60Q Black Hawk: UH-60A modified for medical evacuation.
The UH-60Q is named DUSTOFF for "dedicated unhesitating service to our
HH-60L (no official name assigned): UH-60L extensively modified with
medical mission equipment. Components include an external rescue
hoist, integrated patient configuration system, environmental control
system, on-board oxygen system (OBOGS), and crashworthy ambulatory
HH-60M Black Hawk: UH-60M with medical mission equipment (medevac
version) for U.S. Army.
HH-60U: USAF UH-60M version modified with an electro-optical sensor
and rescue hoist. Three in use by Air Force pilots and special mission
aviators since 2011. Has 85% commonality with HH-60W.
HH-60W: Modified version of the UH-60M for the U.S. Air Force as a
Helicopter to replace HH-60G Pave Hawks with greater
fuel capacity and more internal cabin space, dubbed the "60-Whiskey".
Deliveries to begin in 2019.
MH-60A Black Hawk: 30 UH-60As modified with additional avionics, night
vision capable cockpit, FLIR, M134 door guns, internal auxiliary fuel
tanks and other
Special Operations mission equipment in early 1980s
for U.S. Army. Equipped with T700-GE-701 engines.
Variant was used by the 160th
Special Operations Aviation Regiment.
The MH-60As were replaced by MH-60Ls beginning in the early 1990s and
passed to the Air National Guard.
MH-60K Black Hawk:
Special operations modification first ordered in
1988 for use by the U.S. Army's 160th
Special Operations Aviation
Regiment ("Night Stalkers"). Equipped with the in-flight refueling
probe, and T700-GE-701C engines. More advanced than MH-60L, the
K-model also includes an integrated avionics system (glass cockpit),
AN/APQ-174B terrain-following radar, color weather map, improved
weapons capability, and various defensive systems.
MH-60L Black Hawk:
Special operations modification, used by the U.S.
Special Operations Aviation Regiment ("Night Stalkers"),
based on the UH-60L with T700-701C engines. It was developed as an
interim version in the late 1980s pending fielding of the MH-60K.
Equipped with many of the systems used on MH-60K, including FLIR,
color weather map, auxiliary fuel system, and laser
rangefinder/designator. A total of 37 MH-60Ls were built and
some 10 had received an in-flight refueling probe by 2003.
MH-60L DAP: The Direct Action Penetrator (DAP) is a special operations
modification of the baseline MH-60L, operated by the U.S. Army's 160th
Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The DAP is configured as a
gunship, with no troop-carrying capacity. The DAP is equipped with
ESSS or ETS stub wings, each capable of carrying configurations of the
M230 Chain Gun
M230 Chain Gun 30 mm automatic cannon, 19-shot
Hydra 70 rocket
AGM-114 Hellfire missiles,
AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles,
GAU-19 gun pods, and M134 minigun pods, M134D miniguns are used
as door guns. which are typically fixed forward for firing during
strafing runs.
MH-60M Black Hawk:
Special operations version of UH-60M for U.S. Army.
Features the Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System
(CAAS) glass cockpit and more powerful YT706-GE-700 engines.
All special operations Black Hawks to be moderized to MH-60M standard
MH-60 Black Hawk stealth helicopter: One of two (known) specially
modified MH-60s used in the raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout in
Pakistan on 1 May 2011 was damaged in a hard landing, and was
subsequently destroyed by U.S. forces. Subsequent reports
state that the Black Hawk destroyed was a previously unconfirmed, but
rumored, modification of the design with reduced noise signature and
stealth technology. The modifications are said to add several
hundred pounds to the base helicopter including edge alignment panels,
special coatings and anti-radar treatments for the windshields.
VH-60Ns used to transport the President of the United States
UH-60A RASCAL: NASA-modified version for the Rotorcraft-Aircrew
Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory; a US$25M program for the study
of helicopter maneuverability in three programs, Superaugmented
Controls for Agile Maneuvering Performance (SCAMP), Automated
Nap-of-the-Earth (ANOE) and Rotorcraft Agility and Pilotage
Improvement Demonstration (RAPID). The UH-60A RASCAL
performed a fully autonomous flight on 5 November 2012. U.S. Army
personnel were on board, but the flying was done by the helicopter.
During a two-hour flight, the Black Hawk featured terrain sensing,
trajectory generation, threat avoidance, and autonomous flight
control. It was fitted with a 3D-LZ laser detection and ranging
(LADAR) system. The autonomous flight was performed between 200 and
400 feet. Upon landing, the onboard technology was able to pinpoint a
safe landing zone, hover, and safely bring itself down.
OPBH: On 11 March 2014, Sikorsky successfully conducted the first
flight demonstration of their Optionally Piloted Black Hawk (OPBH), a
milestone part of the company's Manned/Unmanned Resupply Aerial Lifter
(MURAL) program to provide autonomous cargo delivery for the U.S.
Army. The helicopter used the company's Matrix technology (software to
improve features of autonomous, optionally-piloted VTOL aircraft) to
perform autonomous hover and flight operations under the control of an
operator using a man-portable Ground Control Station (GCS). The MURAL
program is a cooperative effort between Sikorsky, the US Army Aviation
Development Directorate (ADD), and the US Army Utility Helicopters
Project Office (UH PO). The purpose of creating an optionally-manned
Black Hawk is to make the aircraft autonomously carry out resupply
missions and expeditionary operations, while increasing sorties and
maintaining crew rest requirements and leaving pilots to focus more on
VH-60D Night Hawk: VIP-configured HH-60D, used for Presidential
transport by USMC. T700-GE-401C engines. Variant was later
VH-60N White Hawk: Modified UH-60A with some features from the
SH-60B/F Seahawks. It is used for Presidential and VIP transport
by USMC. It entered service in 1988 and nine were delivered.
UH-60J Black Hawk: Variant for the
Japanese Air Self Defense Force
Japanese Air Self Defense Force and
Maritime Self Defense Force
Maritime Self Defense Force produced under license by Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries. Also known as the S-70-12.
UH-60JA Black Hawk: Variant for the Japanese Ground Self Defense
Force. It is license produced by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
AH-60L Arpía: Export version for
Colombia developed by Elbit,
Sikorsky, and the Colombian Air Force. It is
attack version with improved electronics, firing system, FLIR, radar,
light rockets and machine guns.
AH-60L Battle Hawk: Export armed version unsuccessfully tendered for
Australian Army project AIR87, similar to AH-60L Arpía III.
Sikorsky has also offered a Battlehawk armed version for export in the
form of armament kits and upgrades. Sikorsky's Armed Black hawk
demonstrator has tested a 20 mm turreted cannon, and different
guided missiles. The
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates ordered Battlehawk
kits in 2011.
UH-60P Black Hawk: Version for
South Korea army, based on UH-60L with
some improvements. Around 150 were produced under license by
Norwegian soldiers in a UH-60
Australian Army service
UH-60L in the
Brazilian Army service
Sikorsky military model for the export market:
S-70A-1 Desert Hawk: Export version for the Royal Saudi Land Forces.
S-70A-L1 Desert Hawk: Aeromedical evacuation version for the Royal
Saudi Land Forces.
S-70A-5 Black Hawk: Export version for the Philippine Air Force.
S-70A-6 Black Hawk: Export version for Thailand.
S-70A-9 Black Hawk: Export version for Australia, assembled under
licence by Hawker de Havilland. First eight delivered to the Royal
Australian Air Force, subsequently transferred to the Australian Army;
remainder delivered straight to the Army after rotary-wing assets
divested by the Air Force in 1989.
S-70A-11 Black Hawk: Export version for the Royal Jordanian Air Force.
S-70A-12 Black Hawk: Search and rescue model for the Japanese Air Self
Defense Force and Maritime Self Defense Force. Also known as the
S-70A-14 Black Hawk: Export version for Brunei.
S-70A-16 Black Hawk: Engine test bed for the Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM
S-70A-17 Black Hawk: Export version for Turkey.
S-70A-18 Black Hawk: UH-60P and HH-60P for
South Korea built under
Sikorsky/Westland S-70-19 Black Hawk: This version is built under
license in the United Kingdom by Westland. Also known as the WS-70.
S-70A-20 Black Hawk: VIP transport version for Thailand.
S-70A-21 Black Hawk: Export version for Egypt.
S-70A-22 Black Hawk: VH-60P for
South Korea built under license. Used
for VIP transport by the Republic of Korea Air Force. Its fuselage is
tipped with white to distinguish from normal HH-60P.
S-70A-24 Black Hawk: Export version for Mexico.
S-70A-26 Black Hawk: Export version for Morocco.
S-70A-27 Black Hawk: Search and rescue version for the Hong Kong
Government Flying Service; three built.
S-70A-30 Black Hawk: Export version for Argentine Air Force, used as a
VIP transport helicopter by the Presidential fleet; one built.
S-70A-33 Black Hawk: Export version for Royal
Brunei Air Force.
S-70A-39 Black Hawk: VIP transport version for Chile; one built.
S-70A-42 Black Hawk: Export version for Austria.
S-70A-43 Black Hawk: Export version for Royal Thai Army.
S-70A-50 Black Hawk: Export version for Israel; 15 built.
S-70C-2 Black Hawk: Export version for People's Republic of China; 24
S-70i Black Hawk: International military version assembled by
PZL Mielec in Poland.
See Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk, Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk, and Sikorsky
HH-60 Jayhawk for other
Sikorsky S-70 variants.
See Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk, Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk, Sikorsky HH-60
Sikorsky S-70 for operators of other H-60/S-70 family
Australian Army S-70A-9 Black Hawk
Black Hawk of the
Colombian Air Force
Colombian Air Force launching flares, 2011.
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force UH-60JA
U.S. Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk with snow-ski kit
Swedish Air Force
Swedish Air Force UH-60M
Saudi Arabian National Guard
Saudi Arabian National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk
Afghan Air Force
Afghan Air Force - 8 as of January 2018
Australian Army Aviation – 34 as of 2016
Austrian Air Force
Austrian Air Force – 9 (3 more on order) as of 2016
Royal Bahraini Air Force
Royal Bahraini Air Force – 8 as of 2016
Brazilian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force – 16 as of 2016
Brazilian Army – 3 as of 2016
Brazilian Navy (see SH-60 Seahawk)
Royal Brunei Air Force
Royal Brunei Air Force – 12 (see S-70i) as of 2016
Chilean Air Force
Chilean Air Force – 1 as of 2017, with 6 more S-70i
helicopters on order, to be delivered in 2018 and 2019.
People's Republic of China
People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army – 23 (see S-70) as of 2016
Colombian Air Force
Colombian Air Force – 24 as of 2016
Colombian Army – 55 as of 2016
Egyptian Air Force
Egyptian Air Force – 2 as of 2016
Israeli Air Force
Israeli Air Force – 48 as of 2016
Japan Air Self-Defence Force – 35 UH-60J (see Mitsubishi H-60) as of
Air Rescue Wing
Japan Ground Self-Defence Force – 36 UH-60JA (see Mitsubishi H-60)
as of 2016
Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force – 112 SH-60J/K (see Mitsubishi
H-60) as of 2016
Royal Jordanian Air Force
Royal Jordanian Air Force – 22 as of January 2018
Royal Malaysian Air Force
Royal Malaysian Air Force (former operator) as of 2016
Mexican Air Force
Mexican Air Force – 4 as of 2016
Mexican Navy – 3 as of 2016
Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie – 2
Philippine Air Force
Philippine Air Force (former operator) as of 2016
Republic of Korea Air Force
Republic of Korea Air Force – 29 as of 2016
Republic of Korea Army
Republic of Korea Army – 68 as of 2016
Republic of Korea Navy
Republic of Korea Navy – 8 as of 2016
Royal Saudi Land Forces
Royal Saudi Land Forces – 43 as of 2016
Saudi Arabian National Guard
Saudi Arabian National Guard – 20 as of 2016
Slovak Air Force
Slovak Air Force – 2 UH-60Ms delivered as of 2017 with 7 remaining
Swedish Air Force
Swedish Air Force – 15 as of 2016
Taiwan (Republic of China)
China Air Force – 13 as of 2016
China Army – 8 as of 2016 (24 more on order)
China Navy – 18 as of 2016
Royal Thai Army
Royal Thai Army – 10 as of 2016
Tunisian Air Force
Tunisian Air Force - 4 UH-60M delivered as of 2017 (8 more on
Turkish Air Force
Turkish Air Force (6 T-70s on order) as of 2016
Turkish Army 58 with 31 more T-70s on order as of 2016
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates Air Force – 59 as of 2016
United States Air Force
United States Air Force – (see HH-60 Pave Hawk)
United States Army
United States Army – 2,146 as of 2016
United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps (VH-60 "White Hawk", see
Marine One and
For accidents involving other Japanese H-60 helicopters, see
Mitsubishi H-60 § Accidents.
On 14 April 1994 two US Army UH-60 Black Hawks in northern
shot down by mistake by US Air Force F-15s patrolling the northern
no-fly zone that had been imposed after the 1991 Gulf War. 26 crew and
passengers were killed.
On 12 June 1996, the
Australian Special Air Service Regiment
Australian Special Air Service Regiment was
conducting counter terrorist training in the High Range area near
Townsville, North Queensland, Australia. During night insertion
exercises with 5 Aviation Regiment, two S-70A-9 Black Hawks collided
and three army air crew and fifteen SAS Regiment personnel were
On 10 March 2015, a UH-60 from
Eglin Air Force Base
Eglin Air Force Base crashed off the
coast of the
Florida Panhandle near the base. All 11 on board were
On 2 September 2015, a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk from Fort Carson
Army base crashed during a training mission in a wooded area of
Douglas County, Colorado. All four people aboard were rescued and
transported for medical treatment.
Data from Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes, International
Directory, Black Hawk
Crew: 2 pilots (flight crew) with 2 crew chiefs/gunners
Capacity: 2,640 lb (1,200 kg) of cargo internally, including
11 troops or 6 stretchers, or 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) (UH-60L)
of cargo externally
Length: 64 ft 10 in (19.76 m)
Fuselage length: 50 ft 1 in (15.27 m)
Fuselage width: 7 ft 9 in (2.36 m))
Rotor diameter: 53 ft 8 in (16.36 m)
Height: 16 ft 10 in (5.13 m)
Disc area: 2,260 ft² (210 m²)
Empty weight: 10,624 lb (4,819 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 23,500 lb (10,660 kg)
Rotational speed: Engine 20,900 RPM, main rotor 258
RPM (gear ratio
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-701C turboshaft, 1,890 hp
(1,410 kW) each
Never exceed speed: 193 knots (222 mph; 357 km/h)
Maximum speed: 159 kn (183 mph; 294 km/h)
Cruise speed: 150 kn (170 mph; 280 km/h)
Combat radius: 368 mi (320 nmi; 592 km)
Ferry range: 1,380 mi (1,200 nmi; 2,220 km) with ESSS
stub wings and external tanks
Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,790 m)
Rate of climb: 1,315 ft/min (4.5 m/s)
Disc loading: 7.19 lb/ft² (35.4 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.192 hp/lb (158 W/kg)
2 × 7.62 mm (0.30 in) M240 machine guns
2 × 7.62 mm (0.30 in) M134 minigun or
2 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm)
GAU-19 gatling guns
Hardpoints: 4, 2 per ESSS stub wings and provisions to carry
Rockets: 70 mm (2.75 in)
Hydra 70 rockets
AGM-114 Hellfire laser guided missiles, AIM-92 Stinger
Other: 7.62 mm (0.30 in), 12.7 mm (0.50 in), 20 mm (0.787 in), or 30
mm (1.18 in) M230 gun pods
Bombs: Can be equipped with VOLCANO minefield dispersal system.
See UH-60 Armament Subsystems for more information.
United States Army
United States Army portal
Black Hawk Down
Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk
Sikorsky HH-60 Jayhawk
Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk
Sikorsky S-92 / Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Bell UH-1 Iroquois
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar
Mil Mi-8/Mil Mi-17
List of helicopters
List of utility helicopters
List of active military aircraft of the United States
Sikorsky S-70 Models
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to UH-60 Black Hawk.
Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk cut-out showing internal components
Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk from Flightglobal.com
Black Hawk U.S. Army fact file
Lockheed Martin's BLACK HAWK page
YUH-60A cutaway image on flightglobal.com
UTTAS program, origin of the Black Hawk on helis.com
UH-60A, H-60, AH-60L and
Sikorsky S-70 GlobalSecurity.org
UH-60 Blackhawk medium size utility helicopter(Air recognition)
S-70A-42 Black Hawk of the Austrian Army
Military.com with data on range extending devices
UH-60 Black Hawk on kamov.net
Westland Aircraft / Westland Helicopters
Fixed wing fighters
COW Gun Fighter
United States helicopter designations, Army/Air Force and Tri-Service
Numerical sequence used by USAAC/USAAF/USAF 1941–present; US Army
1948–1956 and 1962–present; US Navy 1962–present
Prefix R-, 1941–1948
Prefix H-, 1948–1962
Main joint sequence
H-73 to H-891
reusing old numbers
1 Not assigned
Callsigns of aircraft carrying the President and Vice President of the
Air Force One
Coast Guard One
Air Force Two
Coast Guard Two
89th Airlift Wing
Transportation of the President of the United States
White House Transportation Agency