The 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.
The UH-60A entered service with the 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 and U.S. Air Force. 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.
In the late 1960s, the 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 length.
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.
Four prototypes were constructed, with the first YUH-60A flying in 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 1979.
Crew: 2 pilots (flight crew) with 2 crew chiefs/gunners
Capacity: 2,640 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)
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)
Loaded weight: 22,000 lb (9,980 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 23,500 lb (10,660 kg)
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, 295 km/h)
Cruise speed: 150 kn (173 mph, 278 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: 700 ft/min (3.6 m/s)
Disc loading: 7.19 lb/ft² (35.4 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.192 hp/lb (158 W/kg)
Guns: *2 × 7.62 mm (0.30 in) M240H machine guns or
2 × 7.62 mm (0.30 in) M134 minigun or
2 × .50 in (12.7 mm) GAU-19 gatling guns
Hardpoints: 4, 2 per ESSS stub wings and provisions to carry combinations of:
Rockets: 70 mm (2.75 in) Hydra 70 rockets
Missiles: AGM-114 Hellfire laser guided missiles
Other: 7.62 mm (0.30 in), 20 mm (0.787 in), or 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 gunpods
Bombs: Can be equipped with VOLCANO minefield dispersal system
Other model helicopters:Ka-58, RAH-66 Comanche, UH-60 Black Hawk, AH-64 Apache, Ka-52 Alligator, PAH-2 Eurocopter, Ka-50 Black Shark, AH-1W Super Cobra, Mi-24 Hint, Mi-8 Hip, AS-332 Super Puma, UH-1 Iroqoies, MD-500