Sikorsky Delivers 300th UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopter to U.S. Army


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Sikorsky Delivers 300th UH-60M Black Hawk Helicopter to U.S. Army

By Jim Douglas

July 10, 2011 - Sikorsky Aircraft announced the delivery of the 300th UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter to the U.S. Army. "The war-fighter has provided outstanding reviews of the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter’s performance in theater,” said Lt. Col. Heyward Wright, Product Manager, representing Col. Thomas Todd of the U.S. Army's Utility Helicopters Project Office.

"In my estimation, the UH-60M aircraft sets the standard for a successful utility platform in a combat environment." The UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army's Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) competition in 1972.

The Army designated the prototype as the YUH-60A and selected the Black Hawk as the winner of the program in 1976, after a fly-off competition with the Boeing Vertol YUH-61. The UH-60A entered service with the Army in 1979, to replace the Bell UH-1 Iroquois as the Army's tactical transport helicopter. This was followed by the fielding of electronic warfare and special operations variants of the Black Hawk.

Improved UH-60L and UH-60M utility variants have also been developed. Modified versions have also been developed for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force. In addition to U.S. Army use, the UH-60 family has been exported to several nations. Black Hawks have served in combat during conflicts in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and other areas in the Middle East. 

Sikorsky began delivering UH-60M aircraft to the U.S. Army in 2006. With a new airframe, avionics and propulsion system, the aircraft is the most modern in a series of Black Hawk variants that Sikorsky has been delivering to the Army since 1978. Sikorsky Aircraft also has delivered UH-60M aircraft to other U.S. federal government agencies, and to international customers. 

“The UH-60M platform brings the most up-to-date technology to the war-fighter to keep our troops safe for their diverse missions,” said John Palumbo, Sikorsky Vice President, Army Programs. “We continue to receive very positive feedback from the U.S. Army because the UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter provides reduced pilot workload, increased lift, better protection and enhanced survivability. It is a proven, reliable combat aircraft.”


Sikorsky is expected to deliver more than 950 UH-60M aircraft to the U.S. Army by 2025. Additionally, the Army plans to buy more than 400 HH-60M MEDEVAC aircraft used to extract wounded troops from the battlefield. Exact procurement numbers year-to-year and across the life of the program will be determined by budget authorizations and specific contract awards. 

Black Hawk helicopters of all variants flown by the U.S. Army in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters of war have accumulated more than one million fleet flight hours without a single Class A material failure. The combined operational sortie rate in both theaters stands at 85 percent. The U.S. Army’s total Black Hawk helicopter fleet exceeds 1,945 aircraft.

More than 3,000 Black Hawk helicopters of all variants are in use today, operating in 30 countries. Designed to stringent U.S. military standards, the Black Hawk helicopter has become the leader in multi-mission type aircraft. Among the mission configurations it serves are troop transport, medical evacuation, electronic warfare, attack, assault support and special operations.

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