Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter

The Blackhawk Utility Helicopter (UH-60A/L) is the U.S. military utility and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopter.

A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the General Aviation Support Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division flies over Jalalabad in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, 29 June 2007
A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the General Aviation Support Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division flies over Jalalabad in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, 29 June 2007.

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Sikorsky UH-60A/L Blackhawk Helicopter

The Sikorsky UH-60A/L Blackhawk Helicopter provides Commanders with rapid and agile maneuver capability through air assault, general support, Army Airborne Command and Control System (A2C2S) and MEDEVAC. The UH-60 provides lift of troops, weapon systems, supplies and equipment. In the A2C2S role, it provides full joint and combined interoperability with other Command, Control, Communication, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance elements to Commanders at all echelons.

The UH-60A/L is a twin-engine, dual-seat helicopter requiring a minimum crew of a pilot and copilot. It is designed to carry 11 combat-loaded air assault troops (seats installed). It can move a 105-millimeter howitzer and 30 rounds of ammunition. The UH-60A/L is equipped with a full instrument package and is certified for instrument meteorological conditions as well as day and NVG operations. In addition to its basic configuration, the UH-60A/L includes kit installations that provide the capability for rescue hoist, extended-range fuel, and casualty evacuation operations. The UH-60L is powered by upgraded engines and has an improved durability gearbox.

The UH-60 is also utilized in support of homeland security and natural disaster relief operations, such as fire suppression, personnel recovery and key personnel transport.

UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter Models

  • UH-60A/L air assault, air movement, C2, MedEvac, and aerial delivery of mines.
  • HH-60J Jayhawk Coast Guard variant
  • HH-60L MedEvac UH-60A/L
  • UH-60M Next-generation UH-60 Blackhawk upgrade, in limited production 2006
  • HH-60M MedEvac UH-60M
  • UH-60Q MedEvac for 3-6 acute care patients with their medical equipment and attendants
  • MH-60G Pave Hawk Special Operations version (also MH-60K, MH-60L, HH-60R)
  • CH-60 Sea Hawk at-sea Vertical Replenishment capability and Search and Rescue
  • EH-60A specialized for electronic warfare
  • VH-60 executive transport helicopter

The Army began fielding the UH-60 in 1978, equipped with two General Electric T700-GE-700 1622 shp turboshaft engines. In October 1989, the engines were upgraded to two General Electric T700-GE-701C 1890 shp turboshaft engines, and an improved durability gear box was added, with model designation change from UH-60A to UH-60L. With one of the most extensive helicopter programs in the world, in addition to the list of variants above, there are many more UH-60 specialized versions, prototypes and custom developments.

UH-60 Blackhawk Specifications and Performance

Rotor diameter 53 ft. 8 in. main rotor, 11 ft. tail rotor at 20° angle
Length 64 ft. 10 in. rotors turning, 41 ft. 4 in. rotors/pylons folded
Width 9 ft. 8.6 in. main landing gear, 14 ft. 4 in. stabilator, 21 ft. ESSS installed.
Height 12 ft. 4 in. center hub, 16 ft. 10 in. tail rotor
Weight 20,250 lbs. max UH-60A, 22,000 lbs. max UH-60L
Armament 2 M60D 7.62mm door-mounted mg, Hellfire missiles
Engine Varies by model
Cruising speed 163 mph
Combat Radius 140 mi.
Service ceiling 11,125 ft.

UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter at Camp Mabry Museum (49th Armored Division- Texas), 18 July 2004. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit
UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter at Camp Mabry Museum (49th Armored Division- Texas), 18 July 2004. Photo: Courtesy of Bob Pettit.

Members of the 17th Aviation Brigade conduct deck landing qualification on the USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) off the coast of Pohang, Korea, 10 December 2003
Members of the 17th Aviation Brigade conduct deck landing qualification on the USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) off the coast of Pohang, Korea, 10 December 2003.

US Army UH-60A Blackhawk air ambulance from 508th Medical Detachment being refueled, 101st Airborne Division Rapid Refuel Point (RRP) capable of servicing twenty helicopters simultaneously; fuel handling personnel from 102d Quartermaster Detachment, Logistical Base CHARLIE, Northern Province, Saudi Arabia (southeast of Rafha), 7 February 1991
UH-60A Blackhawk air ambulance from 508th Medical Detachment being refueled, 101st Airborne Division Rapid Refuel Point (RRP) capable of servicing twenty helicopters simultaneously; fuel handling personnel from 102d Quartermaster Detachment, Logistical Base CHARLIE, Northern Province, Saudi Arabia (southeast of Rafha), 7 February 1991.

US Army UH-60Q MedEbac Helicopter
US Army UH-60Q MedEbac Helicopter

New York Air National Guard's 101st Rescue Squadron at Francis E. Gabreski Field with their HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter
New York Air National Guard's 101st Rescue Squadron at Francis E. Gabreski Field with their HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter.

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