S-70A Black Hawk

S-70A Black Hawk Multi-Mission Helicopter, USA

The S-70A helicopter is the export version of the multi-mission Black Hawk developed by Sikorsky.

"The primary mission of the Black Hawk helicopter is as a troop carrier and logistical support aircraft."

The UH-60 Black Hawk has been operational in the US Army since 1978, and variants of the Black Hawk are operational or have been ordered by 25 international customers: the Argentine Air Force, Royal Australian Army, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Colombian Air Force, Egypt, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan Self Defence Force, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, People's Republic of China, Royal Saudi Land Forces Army Aviation Command, the Turkish Jandarma, Spain, The Philippine Air Force, Taiwan, and Thailand.

More than 2,000 H-60 variants are in service with the US Military and more than 600 exported.

S-70A / UH-60 ORDERS

In July 2004, The Royal Jordanian Air Force ordered eight helicopters to enter service in 2006. In September 2004, the Government of Brazil requested a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of ten UH-60L helicopters. In July 2005, Columbia requested eight helicopters and the Royal Thai Navy two.

In June 2006, United Arab Emirates requested the FMS of 26 and Bahrain nine UH-60M helicopters. In July 2006, Saudi Arabia requested 24 UH-60L helicopters. In September 2006, Columbia requested 15 UH-60L helicopters.

The aircraft have logged four million flying hours, including a diverse range of combat missions in Grenada, Panama, in the liberation of Kuwait, Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and numerous humanitarian and rescue missions including operations in Bosnia.

The helicopters are manufactured at the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation production facilities based in Stratford, Connecticut, USA. Licensed production of Black Hawk helicopters is also carried out in Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The primary mission of the Black Hawk helicopter is as a troop carrier and logistical support aircraft, but in addition the helicopter can be configured to carry out medical evacuation, command-and-control, search-and-rescue, armed escort, electronic warfare and executive transport missions.

UH-60M UPGRADE PROGRAM

In April 2001, the US Army approved an upgrade program for more than 1,500 Black Hawks to UH-60M standard. The first flight of the UH60M took place in September 2003 and three helicopters have been delivered for the test program.

"The UH-60M features new wide chord composite spar main rotor blades."

The US Army has since decided to opt for new build helicopters rather than upgrade existing airframes.

The helicopter entered Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) in April 2005. The first of 22 new UH-60Ms was delivered in July 2006. Initial Operational Evaluation (OPEVAL) is due to begin in October 2006. A decision on full-rate production is expected in 2007.

The UH-60M features new wide chord composite spar main rotor blades (which will provide 500lb more lift than the current UH-60L blade), strengthened fuselage and advanced infrared suppression.

The fly-by-wire glass cockpit has a digitised 1553 bus-based avionics suite with four Rockwell Collins multi-function displays, four-axis fully-coupled autopilot, two Canadian Marconi (CMC) electronic flight management systems, dual Honeywell Embedded GPS Inertial (EGI) navigation system and Goodrich Integrated Vehicle Health Management System (IHVMS).

The new General Electric T700-GE-701D engine (with full authority digital electronic control) is more powerful and provides additional lift during sling load operations.

BLACK HAWK DESIGN

Black Hawk has low detectability and outstanding nap-of-the-earth flight capabilities. The aircraft is tolerant to small arms fire and most high-explosive, medium-calibre (23mm) projectiles. The flight controls are ballistically hardened and the helicopter is equipped with redundant electric and hydraulic systems.

"The S-70A Black Hawk cabin provides accommodation for 11 fully equipped troops or four litters."

The helicopter has the ability to absorb high-impact velocities. The fuel system is crash-resistant and self-sealing. The crew seats and the landing gear are energy absorbing.

HELICOPTER COCKPIT

The helicopter is flown by a crew of three: the pilot and the copilot at the flight deck and one crew member in the cabin. The S-70A helicopter is equipped with a glass cockpit and digital avionics.

In addition, S-70 customers may select a digital Automated Flight Computer System (AFCS) to simplify pilot workload. An Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) provides primary pilotage and navigation displays for the aircrew.

S-70A WEAPONS

The S-70 is qualified as a launch platform for the laser-guided Hellfire anti-armour missile. The Black Hawk can carry 16 Hellfire missiles using the External Stores Support System (ESSS). The ESSS has the capability of carrying a 10,000lb payload of missiles, rockets, cannons and electronic countermeasures pods. The helicopter can also accommodate additional missiles, supplies or personnel inside the cabin.

The S-70 can mount 7.62mm or .50 calibre machine guns in the windows.

US Army Black Hawks are being fitted with the Goodrich AN/AVR-2B laser threat warning system, to enter service from 2006.

CARGO

The cabin provides accommodation for 11 fully equipped troops or four litters (stretcher patients) with a medical officer for medical evacuation missions. The cabin is equipped with a ventilation and heating system.

"The S-70A helicopter is tolerant to small arms fire."

The S-70A can carry external loads up to 9,000lb (4,072kg) on the cargo hook - for example, a 155mm howitzer. The main cabin can be cleared of troop seats for transportation of cargo. Additional stores can be carried on the external stores support system.

COMMUNICATIONS

The S-70A is equipped with a voice and data communications suite including VHF, UHF communications, an Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder, secure voice communications, satellite communications and an intercom system.

ENGINES

The S-70A is equipped with two General Electric turboshaft engines, type T700-GE- 701C. US Army Blackhawks are being fitted with latest version, the 701D, which is rated at 2,000shp.

The internal fuel tanks have a capacity of 1,360l. Auxiliary fuel can be carried with 1,400l in two internal fuel tanks and 1,740l externally.

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The UH-60 multimission helicopter.
The UH-60 multimission helicopter.
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More than 2,000 Black Hawk helicopters are in service with the United States forces.
More than 2,000 Black Hawk helicopters are in service with the United States forces.
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Two US Army S-70A Black Hawk helicopters. The UH-60 Black Hawk has been operational in the US Army since 1978.
Two US Army S-70A Black Hawk helicopters. The UH-60 Black Hawk has been operational in the US Army since 1978.
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The S-70A Black Hawk helicopter can be armed with a variety of missiles, rockets, machine guns and 20mm cannons.
The S-70A Black Hawk helicopter can be armed with a variety of missiles, rockets, machine guns and 20mm cannons.
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The highly capable Royal Brunei Air Force Black Hawk helicopter with radar, FLIR, and auxiliary fuel tanks is put through its paces. This S-70A serves the Brunei Ministry of Defence.
The highly capable Royal Brunei Air Force Black Hawk helicopter with radar, FLIR, and auxiliary fuel tanks is put through its paces. This S-70A serves the Brunei Ministry of Defence.
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A S-70A Black Hawk helicopter takes to the air in Israeli livery.  The S-70A Black Hawk can lift 9,000 pounds (4,082 kg). Its enhanced lifting capacity provides operators with new levels of multi-mission mobility.
A S-70A Black Hawk helicopter takes to the air in Israeli livery. The S-70A Black Hawk can lift 9,000 pounds (4,082 kg). Its enhanced lifting capacity provides operators with new levels of multi-mission mobility.
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A glass cockpit and digital avionics including digital Automated Flight Computer System (AFCS) and Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) are now available for the S-70 Black Hawk.
A glass cockpit and digital avionics including digital Automated Flight Computer System (AFCS) and Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS) are now available for the S-70 Black Hawk.
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An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from Sikorsky, part of the Hawk family of helicopters.
An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from Sikorsky, part of the Hawk family of helicopters.
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