The UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter is probably the top military helicopter to date. Nicknamed the Night Stalker, the Blackhawk has an evolutionary airframe, a large cabin which is capable of carrying 11 fully armed troops into combat. This four-blade aircraft is manufactured by Sikorsky for the US Army and entered into service in 1972 as a tactical transport helicopter, replacing the Army’s Iroquois. The US Navy, US Air Force and US Coast Guard also use variants of the UH-60 helicopter.
UH-60 Blackhawk Operations
The Blackhawk first saw combat in 1983 when the US invaded Grenada. It was also utilized in 1989 during the Panama invasion and again in 1991 when it participated with more than 300 helicopters in the Gulf War in what would become the largest air assault in the history of the US Army. The Blackhawk has been involved in combat missions in Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans and Afghanistan as well as other Middle Eastern conflicts.
Information and Specifications of the UH-60
The UH-60 has the capability to caryy a daunting number of weaponries, including rockets, cannons and electronic counter measures. The large cabin also allows the UH-60 to fulfill a number of mission sets:
Some UH-60 Specifications
- Weight Load: 22,000 lbs. (with a maximum takeoff weight of 23,500 lbs)
- Maximum Speed: 183 mph
- Combat radius: 368 miles
- Service Ceiling: 19,000 feet
The Blackhawk can be equipped with any one of the three guns listed below:
- 2×7.62 mm M240H machine guns
- 2×7.62 mm M134 minigun
- 2x.50in GAU-10 gatling guns
The helicopter can also be equipped with additional armament including specific bombs, rockets, missiles and gunpods.
UH-60 Still In Service
Several variants of the UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter have evolved since its initial flight in November of 1974 and have remained in active service to present day.