The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter that serves for the United States military. The helicopter is manufactured by the Sikorsky Aircraft after the company presented the design to the United State’s military for a UTTAS (Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft) competition held back in 1972.
The army designated this helicopter as YUH-60A and selected this helicopter as the winner of the competition back in 1976. The helicopter was selected as the winner after a fly-off test was conducted of it against the Boeing Vertol YUH-61.
The helicopter which has been named after a Native American Warrior leader, Black Hawk, entered in the military service back in 1979. After it entered the service, it replaced the Bell UH-1 Iroquois for the latest Tactical Transport Helicopter. After few years many other variants of this helicopter were manufacture that were used for the following purposes.
- Fielding of electronic warfare
- Special operations
In addition to military, several variants of this helicopter have been designed for both United States Navy and Coast Guard. The helicopter’s primary customer is USA but other than that the helicopter has been exported to several other nations across the world as well. The aircraft has served in the following conflicts that happened across the world.
- The Balkans
- Some areas of Middle East
The aircraft even after three decades of service is still fulfilling its role as one of the most competent helicopters in the United States’ army.
For our readers today we have gathered a bunch of amazing facts about the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk which are as follows.
Back in the 1960s, the US Army presented a competition for presenting a new helicopter design for replacing their UH-1 Iroquois. The program was designated as UTTAS. Army required a helicopter that had the following features.
- Increased performance
- Reliability movements
- To be able to be transported within a C-130
The Sikorsky Aircraft initially developed for a prototype of this helicopter and finally sent the final version for evaluation back in 1976 which in a fly-off competition against the Boeing Vertol won the competition.
First delivery to Army:-
After the aircraft won the competition, the Sikorsky Aircraft started the manufacturing of the aircraft and the first delivery was made to United States army back on October of 1978 while the active duty in service of military started back in June of 1979.
The helicopter is a four-bladed and a medium-lift utility helicopter that gains the power to perform its function with the power delivered from two ‘General Electric T700-GE-701D’ engines.
Powered by the two powerful engines, the helicopter is able to attain a cruising speed of almost 174 mph with a climb rate of 1315 ft/min. it is able to fully perform its capabilities at a ceiling height of 19000 feet.
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk in normal circumstances has the range of 1381 miles. As for its combat range, the aircraft is able to cover the radius of 368 miles.
External Hook Cargo:-
Being a utility lift helicopter, the helicopter has an external cargo hook that allows the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk to lift a payload of 8000 lbs.
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk was designed primarily by the Sikorsky Aircraft for the United States Army as a troop carrier and a logistic support aircraft. However in its decade long year of service, the army designed and manufactured a variety of this aircraft’s variants that serve the following purposes.
- Medical evacuations
- Command and Control mission
- Search and rescue operations
- Armed escort
- Fielding for Electronic Warfare
- Executive transport missions
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk might be a medium-sized helicopter but like any military helicopter it is operated by a minimum of 2 crew members and during the missions, it can increase to four crewmembers. The designation of crewmembers is as follows.
- 2 pilots
- 2 Gunners
The aircraft has the internal load-bearing capacity of up to 1200 kilograms which can be either 11 troops or 6 stretchers.
Can fit inside a C-130:-
During the program UTTAS presented by the US Army back in the 1960s, they also stated one transport feature of a new aircraft that it must be able to be transported within a C-130.
The Sikorsky Aircraft managed to achieve that feat perfectly by designing an aircraft that is only 64 feet and 10 inches in length and 25 feet in height making it able to fit inside the C-130 and be transported easily to any warring region of the world.
The aircraft has a launch platform that is qualified and capable of carrying the following missiles.
- 16 Hellfire Missiles
- AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles
Some variants of this helicopter have pintle mounts that allow them to carry following caliber machine guns.
- 62 mm machine gun
- 50 mm machine gun
Its here to stay:-
The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is one of the most capable helicopters in the US Army that are serving their roles in every type of mission they are allotted.
The helicopter is here to stay with new variants of it coming out. Back in 2006 US Army took delivery of 22 of the variant helicopters and after testing approved the order of 1227 of its variants back in December of 2007.