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UH-60 Sikorsky
UH-60 Black Hawk
Utility Helicopter

The US Army announced the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition in 1972. The purpose of this effort was to develop a replacement for the UH-1 series of utility helicopters. Both Boeing Vertol and Sikorsky submitted designs, but the Sikorsky YUH-60 was eventually selected over Boeing's YUH-61.

As a result of Army specifications, the Black Hawk can be quickly broken down for transport aboard large cargo aircraft such as one aboard a C-130, two on a C-141, and up to six on a C-5. The UH-60 is also designed with extensive combat survivability features, including armor protection for the pilots, rotor blades able to survive 23-mm cannon fire, and bullet-proof fuel tanks. Although original requirements called for the design to carry 11 armed troops, the Black Hawk so exceeded expectations that up to 20 troops or 8,000 lb (3,630 kg) external loads can be carried.

Though the Army hoped to acquire over 2,260 of the machines, only 1,400 were eventually built for that service. However, the US Air Force has also procured the HH-60G and MH-60G combat search-and-rescue/special operations models while the US Navy has developed the SH-60B anti-submarine variant. The US Coast Guard and a variety of foreign nations have also purchased members of the H-60 family.

Data below for UH-60A
Last modified 15 April 2011

First Flight (YUH-60A) 17 October 1974
(UH-60A) October 1978
(YSH-60B) 12 December 1979
(SH-60B) 11 February 1983
(YEH-60C) 24 September 1981
(YUH-60L) 22 March 1988
(UH-60M) 17 September 2003
Service Entry

(UH-60A) June 1979
(SH-60B) 1984
(UH-60L) 7 November 1989

CREW: 2 pilots and 2 crew

PASSENGERS: (typical) 11 to 14 armed troops
(maximum) up to 20 armed troops



Rotor Blade Root SC1095R8
Rotor Blade Tip


Length 64.83 ft (19.76 m) with rotors turning
41.33 ft (12.60 m) folded
Rotor Diameter 53.67 ft (16.36 m)
Height 12.33 ft (3.76 m) to top of main rotor 16.83 ft (5.13 m) to top of tail rotor
Rotor Disk Area

2,262.04 ft² (210.14 m²)

Empty 10,625 lb (4,820 kg)
Normal Takeoff 16,260 lb (7,375 kg)
Max Takeoff 20,250 lb (9,185 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: unknown
external: unknown
Max Payload

8,000 lb (3,630 kg) [external]

Powerplant two General Electric T700-700 turboshafts
Thrust 3,120 shp (2,326 kW)

Max Level Speed at altitude : 165 mph (270 km/h)
at sea level: 185 mph (295 km/h)
Maximum Climb Rate 3,000 ft (915 m) / min at sea level
Service Ceiling 19,000 ft (5,790 m)
Hover Ceiling
(out of ground effect)
10,400 ft (3,170 m)
Range typical: 325 nm (600 km)
ferry: 1,185 nm (2,200 km)
Endurance 2 hr 18 min
g-Limits unknown

Gun up to two 7.62-mm (0.3-in) M60 machine guns in cabin, two 7.62-mm (0.3-in) miniguns or two GECAL 0.50-in Gatling guns on pintle mount
Stations (optional) 2 stub wings with 4 hardpoints (External Stores Support System)
Air-to-Air Missile Stinger AAM
Air-to-Surface Missile AGM-114 Hellfire, HOT, HOT-2, or TOW anti-tank
Bomb none
Other rocket pods, mine dispensers, combined gun-rocket pods, jamming pods, chaff amd flare pods

S-70A Sikorsky designation for the UH-60A
YUH-60A Prototype
UH-60A Black Hawk Production assault transport helicopter for the US Army; 985 built
UH-60A Pot Hawk Anti-drug surveillance model for the US Customs Service
UH-60A Credible Hawk Search-and-rescue model for the US Air Force
GUH-60A Ground instructional model not equipped for flight
JUH-60A Test aircraft
YEH-60A Prototype electronic countermeasures model for the US Army
EH-60A Intial designation for the ECM version
HH-60A Prototype of the US Air Force HH-60D; 1 built
MH-60A Velcro Hawk Original US Army special operations model used until the dedicated MH-60L and MH-60K variants entered service
VH-60A Initial designation for the US Marine Corps VIP aircraft; 9 built
UH-60B Improved Black Hawk model with new engines and an upgraded cockpit; not built but many features were incoporated into the UH-60L
YEH-60B Modified UH-60A airframe for use as a target-acquisition platform; not built in favor of J-STARS
SH-60B US Navy anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-ship surveillance and targeting (ASST) model
EH-60C Re-designation for the electronic countermeasures model originally known as the EH-60A, equipped with radar jammers and operated by the US Army; 66 built
HH-60D Night Hawk Combat search-and-rescue model for the US Air Force; cancelled
CH-60E Proposed assault transport helicopter for the US Marine Corps; not built
HH-60E Proposed simpler and less expensive version of the HH-60D; not built
HH-60G US Air Force model similar to the MH-60G but optimized for search-and-rescue missions at the expense of full special operations equipment
MH-60G Pave Hawk US Air Force combat search-and-rescue/special operations model with ESSS, an in-flight refueling probe, FLIR turrets, and terrain-following radar
HH-60J Jayhawk US Coast Guard search-and-rescue model
UH-60J Japanese utility helicopter similar to the UH-60L but optimized for SAR, many license-built in Japan
MH-60K US Army special operations model similar to the MH-60G but better equipped; 50 to be built
AH-60L Assault gunship for the US Army
MH-60L UH-60L airframes temporarily modified for special operations duties to replace the MH-60A
UH-60L Improved UH-60A with more powerful engines and a 25% increase in weight; 190 to be built
UH-60M Remanufactured UH-60A airframes modified with a new General Electric T700-701E engine with fully authorized digital engine control, fly-by-wire controls, wide chord rotor blades, a new stabilator design, and upgraded glass-cockpit displays
VH-60N Presidential Hawk US Marine Corps VIP model equipped with extensive avionics and communications equipment
UH-60P UH-60L model for South Korea; 100 to be built
UH-60Q Dustoff Hawk Dedicated medical evacuation model based on the UH-60L
S-70A-1 Desert Hawk UH-60 model for Saudi Arabia
S-70A-L1 Medevac model for Saudi Arabia
S-70A-9 UH-60 model for Australia, many license built; 77 built
S-70C Black Hawk model for Taiwan and Brunei
WS-70 UH-60 model license built by Westland in the United Kingdom


Grenada - Operation Urgent Fury (US Army, 1983)
Panama - Operation Just Cause (US Army, 1989)
Iraq - Operation Desert Storm (US Army, 1991)
Somalia - Operation Continue Hope (US Army, 1993)
Afghanistan - Operation Enduring Freedom (US Army, 2001-present)
Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom (US Army, 2003-present)
Libya - Operation Unified Protector / Odyssey Dawn (USAF, 2011)


Argentina, Fuerza Aérea Argentina (Argentine Air Force)
Argentina, Comando de Aviación del Ejército Argentina (Argentine Army Air Arm)
Australia (Royal Australian Army Aviation)
Bahrain, Bahrain Amiri (Royal Bahraini Air Force)
Brunei, Angkatan Tentara Udara Diraja Brunei (Royal Brunei Air Force)
Chile, Fuerza Aérea de Chile (Chilean Air Force)
China (People's Liberation Army Aviation Corps)
Colombia, Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (Columbian Air Force)
Egypt, Al Quwwat al Jawwiya il Misriya (Egyptian Air Force)
Greece, Elliniki Aerosporia Stratou (Hellenic Army Air Arm)
Hong Kong
Israel, Tsvah Haganah le Israel - Heyl Ha'Avir (Israeli Defence Force - Air Force)
Japan, Nihon Koku-Jieitai (Japan Air Self Defence Force)
Japan, Kaijo Jieitai (Japan Maritime Self Defence Force)
Jordan, Al Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya (Royal Jordanian Air Force)
Mexico, Fuerza Aérea Mexicana (Mexican Air Force)
Morocco, Escadron Aerien Gendarmerie Royale (Royal Police Air Squadron)
Philippines, Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas (Philippine Air Force)
Saudi Arabia (Royal Saudi Army Air Arm)
South Korea (Republic of Korea Army)
Taiwan, Chung-Kuo Kung Chuan (Republic of China Air Force)
Turkey, Türk Kara Kuvvetleri (Turkish Army Air Arm)
United Arab Emirates (United Arab Emirates Air Force)
United States (US Air Force)
United States (US Air National Guard)
United States (US Army)
United States (US Customs Service)
United States (US Marine Corps)



  • Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Weapons: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Weapon Systems from 1945 to the Present Day. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1999, p. 327, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.
  • Bonds, Ray, ed. The Modern US War Machine: An Encyclopedia of American Military Equipment and Strategy. NY: Military Press, 1987, p. 212, Sikorsky S-70.
  • Donald, David, ed. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1997, p. 845-846, Sikorsky S-70.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 390-391, Sikorsky S-70A/UH-60 Black Hawk, Sikorsky S-70A/EH-60, Sikorsky S-70A/HH-60G and MH-60G Pave Hawk, Sikorsky S-70A/MH-60K.
  • Frase, Tuesday and Spohrer, Jennifer. Jane's Combat Simulations: Longbow Gold Users Manual. Austin: Origin Systems, 1997, p. 8.4-8.5, UH-60 Black Hawk.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 254, Sikorsky S-70 (EH-60, HH-60, and UH-60 Black Hawk).
  • Gunston, Bill and Spick, Mike. Modern Fighting Helicopters. London: Salamander Books, 1998, p. 154-155, Sikorsky S-70 (UH/EH-60A Black Hawk and HH-60A Night Hawk).
  • Laur, Timothy M. and Llanso, Steven L. Encyclopedia of Modern U.S. Military Weapons. NY: Berkley Books, 1995, p. 125-127, 145-148, Blackhawk SOF (MH-60), Blackhawk (UH-60).
  • Miller, David, ed. The Illustrated Directory of Modern American Weapons. London: Salamander Books, 2002, p. 120-123, 156-157, Sikorsky S-70 family/SH-60B Seahawk/SH-60F Ocean Hawk, Sikorsky MH-60G/HH-60G Pave Hawk/MH-60K.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 212-213, UH-60/SH-60.
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 479-480, Sikorsky S-70 UH-60 Black Hawk, Sikorsky MH-60 Pave Hawk.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 359-361, Sikorsky S-70A/C, H-60 Black Hawk series and derivatives.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 367-369, Sikorsky S-70A/C, H-60 Black Hawk series and derivatives.
  • Wilson, Jim. Combat: The Great American Warplane. NY: Hearst Books, 2001, p. 146-147, UH-60 Black Hawk.
  • US Air Force HH-60G Fact Sheet

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