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UH-60 Black Hawk
UH-60L Black Hawk


UH-60 Black Hawk

The Black Hawk is the Army’s front-line utility helicopter used for air assault, air cavalry, and aero medical evacuation units. It is designed to carry 11 combat-loaded, air assault troops, and it is capable of moving a 105-millimeter howitzer and 30 rounds of ammunition. First deployed in 1978, the Black Hawk’s advanced technology makes it easy to maintain in the field. The Black Hawk has performed admirably in a variety of missions, including air assault, air cavalry and aero medical evacuations. In addition, modified Black Hawks operate as command and control, electronic warfare, and special operations platforms.


The UH-60A, first flown in October 1974, was developed as result of the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) program. The UTTAS was designed for troop transport, command and control, MedEvac, and reconnaissance, to replace the UH-1 Series "Huey" in the combat assault role. In August 1972, the U.S. Army selected the Sikorsky (model S-70) YUH-60A and the Boeing Vertol (model 237) YUH-61A (1974) as competitors in the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) program. The Boeing Vertol YUH-61A had a four-bladed composite rotor, was powered by the same General Electric T700 engine as the Sikorsky YUH-60A, and could carry 11 troops. In December 1976 Sikorsky won the competition to produce the UH-60A, subsequently named the Black Hawk.

The Black Hawk is the primary division-level transport helicopter, providing dramatic improvements in troop capacity and cargo lift capability compared to the UH-1 Series "Huey" it replaces. The UH-60A, with a crew of three, can lift an entire 11-man fully-equipped infantry squad in most weather conditions. It can be configured to carry four litters, by removing eight troop seats, in the MedEval role. Both the pilot and co-pilot are provided with armor-protective seats. Protective armor on the Black Hawk can withstand hits from 23mm shells. The Black Hawk has a cargo hook for external lift missions. The Black Hawk has provisions for door mounting of two M60D 7.62mm machine guns on the M144 armament subsystem, and can disperse chaff and infrared jamming flares using the M130 general purpose dispenser. The Black Hawk has a composite titanium and fiberglass four-bladed main rotor, is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-700 1622 shp turbo shaft engines, and has a speed of 163 mph (142 knots).


Elements of the US Army Aviation UH-60A/l Blackhawk helicopter fleet will begin reaching their service life goal of 25 years in 2002. In order for the fleet to remain operationally effective through the time period 2025-2030 the aircraft will need to go through an inspection, refurbishment, and modernization process that will validate the structural integrity of the airframe, incorporate improvements in sub-systems so as to reduce maintenance requirements, and modernize the mission equipment and avionics to the levels compatible with Force XXI and Army After Next (AAN) demands.


A Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) is planned for the UH-60 beginning in FY99. The UH-60 modernization program will identify material requirements to effectively address known operational deficiencies to ensure the Black Hawk is equipped and capable of meeting battlefield requirements through the 2025-2030 timeframe. Primary modernization areas for consideration are: increased lift, advanced avionics (digital communications and navigation suites), enhanced aircraft survivability equipment (ASE), increased reliability and maintainability (R & M), airframe service life extension (SLEP), and reduced operations and support (O & S) costs. Suspense date for the approved Operational Requirements Document (ORD) is December 1998.



The Army began fielding the UH-60 in 1978. From 1978 until 1989 the Army procured UH-60A model aircraft. In October 1989, a power train upgrade resulted in a model designation change from UH-60A to UH-60L. The UH-60L version that provides 24 percent more power than the original 1970 UH-60A model. As of the end of FY97, the Army had procured 483 UH-60L models for a total UH-60 acquisition of 1,463 aircraft. The Army is in the fifth and final year of a multi-year procurement contract calling for the delivery of 60 aircraft per year.



The UH-60Q MEDEVAC helicopter provides significant enroute patient care enhancements. The UH-60Q provides a 6 patient litter system, on-board oxygen generation, and a medical suction system. UH-60Q is a UH-60A derivative and incorporates approximate UH-60A characteristics. It is simply the best in aeromedical evacuation. Building on the BLACK HAWK's heritage of saving lives in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and Somalia, the UH-60Q delivers exceptional patient care, increased survivability, longer range, greater speed and added missions capability. For military combatants. War victims. Civilians injured in natural disasters. It has a state-of-the-art medical interior that can accommodate a crew of three and up to six acute care patients. The UH-60Q's leading-edge technology incorporates an improved environmental control system. Cardiac monitoring systems. Oxygen generation, distribution and suction systems. Airway management capability. Provision for stowing IV solutions. And an external electrical rescue hoist. And in addition to extensive immediate care, the UH-60Q can perform all weather terrain battlefield evacuation, combat search and rescue, hospital ship lifeline missions, deep operations support, forward surgical team transport, medical logistics resupply, medical personnel movement, patient regulating, disaster/humanitarian relief, and MAST/HELP state support.


The UH-60Q's medical interior can accomodate three to six acute care patients and their medical attendants. Ergonomic design has maximized the UH-60Q cabin space, placing sophisticated, life-saving instruments and equipment at the fingertips of the medical attendants. A unique platform design allows the interior to transport either six litter of seven ambulatory systems, oxygen distribution and suction systems, airway management capability, and provisions for stowing intravenous solutions. The interior also features these additional capabilities, essential to providing the highest degree of patient care when every second counts:


The UH-60Q communications architecture provides situational awareness and digital communications and is expected to be the model for anticipated fleet-wide improvements to the UH-60. Other improvements include integrated Doppler/GPS, Personnel Locator System, NVG interior lighting, and FLIR.

Modernizing the Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) system is the Army Surgeon General's number one near term priority. The General Accounting Office identified the evacuation deficiency in its report to Congress in 1992. The Army Plan states, "Enhance the battlefield medical system by acquiring modern medical evacuation aircraft" Lessons learned from Operations Just Cause and Desert Storm showed a need for medical version of the UH-60. The UH-60Q was a TRADOC FY96-10 and FY97-11 "must have" Warfighting Lens Analysis solution in order to decrease risk, improve deployability, supportability and training of the force and ensure survivability of Early Entry/Dismounted Forces. Medical Evacuation was the Surgeon General’s number one near-term medical modernization priority in the FY94-08, FY95-09, &FY96-10 Army Modernization Plan. CINC requests the replacement of UH-1 MEDEVAC aircraft with UH-60Q.



Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft
Length 64 feet 10 inches (rotor turning)
Width 53 feet 8 inches (rotor turning)
Height 16 feet 10 inches (overall)
Weight 11,500 pounds
Propulsion Two T700-GE-701Cs
Crew Three
Speed 150 knots
Vertical Rate of Climb 185 FPM
Max Range 315 nm (internal fuel)