Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk

The Sikorsky 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 U.S. 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, Air Force, and Coast Guard. 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.

Role Utility helicopter
Manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation
First flight 17 October 1974
Introduction 1979
Status In service
Primary users United States Army
Republic of Korea Army
Colombian Armed Forces
Turkish Armed Forces
Produced 1974–present
Number built about 4,000
Unit cost UH-60: US$21.3 million (avg. U.S. procurement, 2012)
Developed from Sikorsky S-70
Variants Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk
Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk
Sikorsky HH-60 Jayhawk

Design

UH-60A Black Hawk parked on flight line

The UH-60 features four-blade main and tail rotors, and is powered by two General Electric T700 turboshaft engines. The main rotor is fully articulated and has elastomeric bearings in the rotor head. The tail rotor is canted and features a rigid crossbeam. The helicopter has a long, low profile shape to meet the Army's requirement for transporting aboard a C-130 Hercules, with some disassembly. It can carry 11 troops with equipment, lift 2,600 lb (1,170 kg) of cargo internally or 9,000 lb (4,050 kg) of cargo (for UH-60L/M) externally by sling.

The Black Hawk helicopter series can perform a wide array of missions, including the tactical transport of troops, electronic warfare, and aeromedical evacuation. A VIP version known as the VH-60N is used to transport important government officials (e.g., Congress, Executive departments) with the helicopter's call sign of "Marine One" when transporting the President of the United States. In air assault operations it can move a squad of 11 combat troops or reposition a 105 mm M119 howitzer with 30 rounds ammunition, and a four-man crew in a single lift. The Black Hawk is equipped with advanced avionics and electronics for increased survivability and capability, such as the Global Positioning System.

A view of a UH-60 cockpit

The UH-60 can be equipped with stub wings at top of fuselage to carry fuel tanks or various armaments. The initial stub wing system is called External Stores Support System (ESSS). It has two pylons on each wing to carry two 230 US gal (870 L) and two 450 US gal (1,700 L) tanks in total. The four fuel tanks and associated lines and valves form the external extended range fuel system (ERFS). U.S. Army UH-60s have had their ESSS modified into the crashworthy external fuel system (CEFS) configuration, replacing the older tanks with up to four total 200 US gal (760 L) crashworthy tanks along with self-sealing fuel lines.  The ESSS can also carry 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) of armament such as rockets, missiles and gun pods. The ESSS entered service in 1986. However it was found that with four fuel tanks it would obstruct the firing field of the door guns. To alleviate the issue, the external tank system (ETS) with unswept stub wings to carry two fuel tanks was developed.

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

Specifications (UH-60L)

Orthographically projected diagram of the UH-60A Black Hawk
Drawing from Army manual
A UH-60 as crew prepare to board. View shows main rotor, and engine intake with filter screen
Aeromedical configuration

Data from Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes, US Army Fact File, International Directory, Black Hawk

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 pilots (flight crew) with 2 crew chiefs/gunners
  • Capacity: 2,640 lb (1,200 kg) of cargo internally, including 11 troops or 6 stretchers, or 8,000 lb (3,600 kg) (UH-60A) or 9,000 lb (4,100 kg) (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

Performance

  • Never exceed speed: 193 knots (222 mph, 357 km/h)
  • Maximum speed: 159 kt (183 mph, 295 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 150 kt (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: 1,315 ft/min (4.5 m/s)
  • Disc loading: 7.19 lb/ft² (35.4 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.192 hp/lb (158 W/kg)

Armament

  • 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, AIM-92 Stinger air-to-air missiles
    • Other: 7.62 mm (0.30 in), 12.7 mm (0.50 in), 20 mm (0.787 in), or 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 gunpods
  • Bombs: Can be equipped with VOLCANO minefield dispersal system.

Source

The information contained on this page is unclassified, approved for public dissemination and is released under CC-BY-SA Licensing Agreement.



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