Black Hawk Helicopter

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Black Hawk Helicopter Specifications

Primary Function:
US$ Cost:
Flight Cost:
Rotor Diameter:
Weight Empty:
Max. Weight:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Climb Rate:
First Flight:
Year Deployed:
US$5.91 million
US$24,475 per hour
two to four
GE T700-GE701
2- 1,560 hp ea.
64 ft. 10 in.
16 ft. 10 in.
53 ft. 8 in.
10,625 lbs.
24,500 lbs.
14 troops
10,645 lbs.
150 mph
220 mph
2,750 fpm
19,000 feet
1,380 miles


Black Hawk Helicopter

Black Hawk Helicopter

The Black Hawk Helicopter, officially Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, is the front line utility helicopter of the United States Army. It is used for troop transport, air cavalry, electronic warfare, air assault, aeromedical evacuation and to transport the president of the United States.

The civilian version of the Black Hawk Helicopter is often used as an air tanker. It can be equipped with a 1,000 gallon “constant flow” delivery water tank.

The Black Hawk Helicopter, model A, was originally deployed in 1979. In 1988 the model L was introduced with more powerful engines. The latest model, the M, with  fly-by-wire controls, glass cockpit, Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS), the latest navigation and instrumentation, and fully authorized digital control (FADEC) engines, is slated for use beyond the year 2020.

US Army Black Hawk Helicopter missions can involve medical evacuation models which are configured as rotary winged medical suites. The range of the helicopter may be extended by the use of as many as 4 external fuel tanks.

The United States Air Force is starting to replace its current fleet of HH-60G helicopters with a total of 112 HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopters, valued at US$7.9 billion. The new version has more range and is expected to perform medevac, search and rescue, and combat forces extraction missions.

New helicopter avionics include radar, laser and missile warning systems, a tactical mission kit that gathers information from a new helicopter sensor array, infrared and radar countermeasures.

On Feb. 28, 2020 Sikorsky announced that work continues successfully on the integration of components on the latest U.S.A.F. Black Hawk Helicopter designated the HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter now named “Jolly Green II”. 

Greg Hames, Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopter program director, recently disclosed that the Air Force is considering eliminating the helicopter’s Situation Awareness Data Link and Automatic Direction Finder as no longer relevant in today’s combat environment.  Hames said it is possible that the Air Force may consider adding Lockheed’s Pilotage Distributed Aperture Sensor system.  The system consists of cameras on the outside of the helicopter that allow a 360-degree live video feed of its surroundings. Sikorsky’s Matrix autonomous flight capabilities technology could be another consideration for addition to the helicopter.

The United States Navy versions of the Black Hawk Helicopter are designated the MH-60R, and MH-60S Seahawks. Their missions are primarily Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Ship Warfare. 

Navy Black Hawk helicopters are equipped with multiple function laser range finding and targeting, ultra sharp image seeking, color and infrared detectors. They employ the AN/SRQ-4 situational awareness system that links them with nearby surface warships.

It is anticipated that by December of 2020 the U.S. Navy Black Hawk Helicopter will be upgraded with the next-generation AN/SRQ-4. It provides sensor data transfer, data link operation, comprehensive built-in test, plus command and control functions. In addition it offers extending situational awareness over the horizon and real time exploitation of aircraft sensors.

The United States Coast Guard version of the Black Hawk Helicopter is designated the HH-60J Jayhawk. Its missions are primarily SAR. They are equipped with the same rescue hoist equipment as the USAF helicopter version.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United States Army modified a Black Hawk Helicopter and called it the R A S C A L (Rotorcraft Aircrew Systems Concepts Airborne Laboratory). In 1991 it was used to study rotary craft maneuverability.

The United States Army Black Hawk Helicopter first saw action in 1983 during the invasion of Grenada.

In 1989 the Black Hawk Helicopter again saw action with the invasion of Panama.

It was 1991 when over 300 Black Hawk Helicopters were used in the Gulf War for the United States Army’s largest air assault ever.

Other actions featuring the Black Hawk Helicopter were the 1993 Mogadishu, Somalia assault, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and on going operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Black Hawk Helicopter was employed as a transport for United States Navy Seals in the May 2, 2011 take down of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

The Afghan Air Force is now flying the Black Hawk helicopter.  A total of 160 have been ordered with deliveries to be completed by 2020.

Dec. 3, 2019:  The Naval Air Systems Command awarded L-3 Technologies Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, US$9,999,144 “to procure eight Common Data Link Hawklink AN/SRQ-4 systems” for the Black Hawk helicopters Navy version MH-60R aircraft.  Work is expected to be completed in December of 2022.

Dec. 17, 2019:  The Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland awarded Ultrax Aerospace, Montana, US$13 million for spares/repairs in support of Black Hawk Helicopter Automated Flight Control line replaceable units. Completion is set for Dec. 12, 2024.

Dec. 20, 2019:  The United States Army Contracting Command awarded Sikorsky Aircraft US$556,184,343 for “Black Hawk Helicopter production, associated services for program system management, engineering, technical data and publications”. The estimated completion date is June 30, 2021.

On January 2nd, 2020 a Black Hawk helicopter that took off from Songshan Air Force Base, Taipei, Taiwan just before 8 a.m., carrying Gen. Shen Yi-ming, Taiwan’s Chief of the General Staff,  crashed. Eight Taiwanese military officers including General Shen Yi-ming were killed.

A total of thirteen people were on board the Black Hawk, part of the Air Force Rescue Team.  The five survivors were all seated in the rear of the helicopter. The helicopter disappeared from radar screens about 10 minutes after takeoff, crashing in a mountainous area. At this time it is not known what brought the Black Hawk down.

Feb. 26, 2020: Investigators of the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board (TTSB) reported that the Black Hawk Helicopter went down on January 2nd as a result of environmental factors, including rapidly changing weather conditions and human error. The TTSB ruled out mechanical malfunction based on data retrieved from the helicopter’s black box. They conclude that poor situational awareness and possibly poor cockpit resource management, where the pilot and co-pilot failed to follow proper procedures which comprised their response in an emergency, were the most likely contributing factors.

Feb. 26, 2020:  The U.S. Army Contracting Command awarded PAS MRO, Irvine, California US$9,787,000 to overhaul Black Hawk Helicopter rotor tip caps. Work should be finished by Feb. 25, 2025.

March 10, 2020:  The U.S. Army Contracting Command awarded Sikorsky US$525,371,067 “to exercise an option for the Army MY IX Program Year 4, Lot 44, requirement of 38 UH-60M [Black Hawk Helicopter] Army aircraft, and to exercise an option for two UH-60M FMS green aircraft”. Work should be finished by June 30, 2022.

July 16, 2021: The U.S. Army Contracting Command awarded Sikorsky Aircraft a US$26,947,749 contract modification for “UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopter Foreign (Jordan) Military Sales green aircraft”. The estimated completion date is June 30, 2022.

Black Hawk Helicopter Formart

RC Black Hawk Helicopter

The RC Black Hawk Helicopter fuselage from Formart Modellbau is made from fiberglass. It is 91 1/2 in. long and 21 1/2 in high. Recommended power is a Jakadofsky PRO 5000 turboshaft engine driving a four bladed 90 1/2 in. diameter rotor. All up weight is around 42 lbs.

We would like to thank Michael Bowman for telling us about the 600 size RC Black Hawk Helicopter from RC Aerodyne. It is made from glass fibre to fit 600 size mechanics with a 60 in. length, 10 in. height, and 9 1/2 in. width.

The RC Black Hawk Helicopter from Heli-Max has a 13.8 in. long plastic fuselage, a 12.8 in diameter four blade rotor with a collective pitch head driven by a 3800 kV motor. Also included with the RTF helicopter is a 7.4 V 600 mAh flight battery, gyro and radio.

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