UH-60 Black Hawk: The U.S. army's primary multi-role helicopter
The Sikorsky UH-60 is the United States Army's primary medium lift helicopter.
It was developed in response to lessons learned by the army during the Vietnam War, which highlighted the need for a faster, more armored rotary-wing transport aircraft.
The first production UH-60A was accepted by the army in 1978 and entered service in 1979.
Over the years the helicopter has been modified and upgraded to support evolving missions such as the HH-60W “Whiskey” which has advancements to better support the full range of combat rescue and other special missions.
UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were first used in the invasion of Grenada in 1983, and then again in the invasion of Panama in 1989.
This helicopter saw extensive service during the 1991 Gulf War and a humanitarian mission in Somalia in 1994. Since the September 11th attacks, Black Hawk helicopters have been deployed extensively in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
It was revealed in 2011 that highly modified UH-60s were used in the raid to kill Osama bin Laden.
The UH-60A is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701 turboshaft engines, each producing 1,560 shaft horsepower. Internal fuel totals 360 gallons and is stored in two crashworthy fuel tanks. The Black Hawk can carry two 230-gallon external tanks and up to two additional auxiliary 185-gallon tanks internally in the cargo compartment if equipped with ESSS. The Black Hawk can fly with just one engine.
Modern UH-60 Black Hawk can cruise at speeds in excess of 174 miles per hour
and climb at 1315 feet per minute.
The UH-60A is equipped with troop accommodations for eight, which can be removed to accommodate four full-sized medical litters. The Black Hawk can transport 11 fully equipped combat soldiers in an assault-ready configuration, or 14 in a maximum capacity situation. Maximum troop carrying capacity is 20 lightly equipped personnel. The dedicated medevac variant of the Black Hawk can accommodate 6 litters.
The UH-60A is equipped with a rearward sliding and lockable door on each side of the cargo compartment. The external cargo hook is rated to 8,000 pounds
The UH-60A does not have any dedicated weapon systems, but it does have two pintle mounts (one each located on either side of the airframe aft of the flight deck.) The M-60 GP 7.62mm machine gun, the M-240 7.62mm machine gun, the.50 caliber GAU-19/A machine gun, and the General Electric M134 7.62mm 6-barreled minigun are all compatible with these pintles. The UH-60A can carry up to 16 Hellfire missiles, as well as 2.75" FFAR (folding fin aerial rocket) rocket pods, FIM-92 Stinger anti-air missiles, and aerial mine delivery systems such as the volcano and the M56 mine delivery system, using the ESSS system.
The Black Hawks can take a lot of punishment and they can operate in a lot of very tough environments.
Whether it's sand or snow hot or cold weather they're really built to operate in tough terrain
The UH-60M is the latest iteration of the standard blackhawk platform.
Compared to earlier models of the Black Hawk, the UH-60M incorporates upgraded T700-GE-701D engines, improved rotor blades, and avionics that include modern electronic instrumentation, flight controls, and aircraft navigation control.
This airframe will continue to serve until the early 2030s when it'll be replaced by the Bell V-280 Valor.