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UH-60 Black Hawk

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UH-60 Black Hawk
Black hawk.jpg
UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
Type Utility helicopter
Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
Primary users United States Army
Australian Army
Unit cost US$5.9 million
Developed from Sikorsky S-70
Variants SH-60 Seahawk
HH-60 Pave Hawk
HH-60 Jayhawk

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a medium-lift utility or assault helicopter derived from the twin-turboshaft engine, single rotor Sikorsky S-70.

The S-70 was the winner of a United States Army competition in the late 1970s to replace the UH-1 Huey family. Though the two final competing designs were both developed to Army specifications, the UH-60 was selected over an entry from Boeing-Vertol. It would go on to serve as the basis for variants in service with other branches of the US military.


The Black Hawk series of aircraft can perform a wide array of missions, including the tactical transport of troops, electronic warfare, and aeromedical evacuation: several VH-60N Black Hawks are even used to transport the President of the United States as Marine One, known as the VH-60 Whitehawk.[1] In air assault operations it can move a squad of 11 combat troops with equipment or reposition the 105 mm M102 howitzer with thirty rounds of 105 mm ammunition, and a four-man crew in a single lift. Alternatively, it can carry 2,600 lb (1,170 kg) of cargo or sling load 9,000 lb (4,050 kg) of cargo. The Black Hawk is equipped with advanced avionics and electronics for increased survivability and capability, such as the Global Positioning System.

The unit cost varies with the version due to the varying specifications and equipment. 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 MH-60G Pave Hawk is $10.2 million.


UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters equipped with M60 machine guns near An Najaf, Iraq in May 2005

The Black Hawk was developed to meet a US Army requirement for a UH-1 Iroquois replacement in 1972. Three prototypes were constructed, the first (YUH-60) flying in October 1974, and evaluated against a rival Boeing-Vertol design, the YUH-61. The Black Hawk was selected for production and the UH-60A entered service with the US Army in 1979. In the late 1980s the model was upgraded to the UH-60L (First production aircraft 89-26179) which featured more power and lift with the upgrade to the -701C model of the GE engines. A newer model is being engineered (UH-60M), which will extend the service life of both UH-60A's and UH-60L's well into the 2020s, features still more power and lift and state of the art electronic instrumentation, flight controls and aircraft navigation control.


Soldiers in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter from 5th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, provide support to Iraqi and U.S. ground troops in Salah Ad Din Province, Iraq.

The UH-60 comes in many variants, and many different modifications. The standard US Army version can be fitted with the "External Stores Support System" (ESSS)[2] which provides wings that allow it to carry up to four external fuel tanks for extended range operations, while variants may have different capabilities and their respective equipment in order to fulfill different roles.

  • UH-60A Black Hawk - Original U.S. Army version, carrying a crew of four[3] and up to 11 passengers. Equipped with T-700-GE-700 engines.[1]
  • UH-60A RASCAL - NASA-modified version for the Rotorcraft-Aircrew Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory - $US25M 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).[2][3]
  • EH-60A Black Hawk - Modified electrical system and stations for two electronic systems mission operators.[1]
  • MH-60A Black Hawk - Modified with additional avionics, precision navigation system, FLIR and air-to-air refueling capability. Equipped with T-700-GE-701 engines.[1]
  • YEH-60B Black Hawk - UH-60A modified for special radar and avionics installations, prototype for stand-off target acquisition system.[1]
  • YSH-60B Seahawk - Developmental version, led to SH-60B.[1]
  • SH-60B Seahawk - The United States Navy's sea-going version. Based on UH-60A but with Mark III avionics. Equipped with T-700-GE-401 engines.[1]
  • NSH-60B Seahawk - Permanently configured for flight testing.[1]
  • UH-60C Black Hawk - Modified version for C2 missions.
  • EH-60C Black Hawk - UH-60A modified with special electronics equipment and external antenna.[1]
  • VH-60D Nighthawk - VIP-configured HH-60D, used for Presidential transport. T-700-GE-401 engines.[1]
  • SH-60F Seahawk - Navy upgrade version, received in 1988, equipped with dipping sonar.[1]
  • NSH-60F Seahawk - Modified SH-60F to support the VH-60N Cockpit Upgrade Program.[1]
  • HH-60G Pave Hawk - Modified UH-60A primarily designed for combat search and rescue. It is equipped with a rescue hoist with a 200 ft (60.96 m) cable that has a 600 lb (270 kg) lift capability, and a retractable in-flight refueling probe.[1]
  • MH-60G Pave Hawk - Special Operations version, equipped with long-range fuel tanks, air-to-air refueling capability, FLIR, improved radar. T-700-GE-700/701 engines.[1]
  • HH-60H Sea Hawk - Modified SH-60F with both offensive and defensive weaponry. T-700-GE-401 engines.[1]
  • HH-60J Jayhawk - The United States Coast Guard version, equipped with a rescue hoist with a 200 ft (60.96 m) cable that has a 600 lb (270 kg) lift capability.
  • MH-60K Blackhawk - Special operations modification, used by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment ("Night Stalkers") at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
  • UH-60L Black Hawk - UH-60A with upgraded T-700-GE-701C engines,[1] improved durability gearbox, and additional vibration absorbers.[4]
  • EUH-60L (no official name assigned) - Modified with additional mission electronic equipment for Army Airborne C2.[1]
  • EH-60L Black Hawk - EH-60A with major mission equipment upgrade.[1]
  • HH-60L (no official name assigned) - UH-60L extensively modified with medical mission equipment.[1] Components include an external rescue hoist, integrated patient configuration system, and aircrew positions relocated to the back of the cabin. [5]
  • MH-60L Direct Action Penetrator (DAP) - Special operations modification, operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.[4] It is capable of being armed with 30mm chain gun and 2.75" rockets, as well as M134D gatling guns operated as door guns or fixed forward.
  • AH-60L Arpía III - Export version for Colombia, used by the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana.
  • AH-60L Battle Hawk - Export version for the Australian Army.
  • UH-60M Black Hawk - UH-60L upgraded[1] with improved design "wide chord" rotor system, T-700-GE-701D Engines, improved durability gearbox, integrated Vehicle Management Systems (IVHMS) computer, and modern "Glass Cockpit" flight instrument suite. Planned to replace all UH-60A and L aircraft with the U.S. Army.[6]
  • HH-60M {no official name assigned} - UH-60A with medical mission equipment.[1]
  • VH-60N Nighthawk - Modified HH-60D used for Presidential transport.[1]
  • UH-60P Black Hawk - Export version for the Republic of Korea, similar to UH-60L configuration.[1]
  • UH-60Q Black Hawk - UH-60A modified for medical evacuation.[1]
  • YMH-60R Sea Hawk - Prototype for MH-60R. T-700-GE-701C engines.[1]
  • MH-60R Sea Hawk - Modified SH-60B for multiple mission use. T-700-GE-401 engines.[1]
  • SH-60R Sea Hawk - Modified SH-60B with improved radar and sonar systems.[1]
  • NSH-60R Sea Hawk - U.S. Navy special testing version. T-700-GE-701C engines.[1]
  • CH-60S Sea Hawk - Upgrade of UH-60L and SH-60R for cargo transport.[1]
  • MH-60S (no official name assigned) - Navy medical evacuation and ship replenishment mission equipped. T-700-GE-401 engines.[1]

Specifications (UH-60 Black Hawk)

Orthographically projected diagram of the UH-60A Black Hawk.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Minimum 2 pilots
  • Capacity: 2,645 lb of cargo internally, including 14 troops or 6 stretchers, or 8,000 lb (UH-60A) or 9,000 lb (UH-60L) of cargo externally
  • Length: 64 ft 10 in (19.76 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)
  • Loaded weight: 16,260 lb (7,375 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 24,500 lb (11,113 kg)
  • Powerplant:General Electric T700-GE-701 free-turbine turboshafts, 1,560 hp (1,160 kW) each


  • Never exceed speed: 193 knots (222 mph, 357 km/h)
  • Combat radius: 368 mi (420 nm, 592 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,380 mi (1,200 nm, 2,220 km)
  • Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,790 m)
  • Rate of climb: 700 ft/min (3.6 m/s)
  • Disc loading: 7.19 lb/ft² (35.4 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.959 hp/lb (158 W/kg)


(The Army is now replacing the M60 machine gun with the M240 machine gun.)

  • Can be equipped with VOLCANO minefield dispersal system.


Sikorsky offered the design in the defense market, leading to its purchase by over 20 other countries. It is in service with the armies of:



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Template:Active military aircraft of the United States See also

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