Black Hawk Utility Helicopter
What is it?
The Black Hawk Utility Helicopter (UH-60M) is the Army’s current and future force utility and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopter. The UH-60M provides the Commander with rapid and agile maneuver capability through its air assault, general support, Army airborne command and control system (A2C2S), and MEDEVAC functions. The UH-60M gives Commanders the ability to initiate, conduct, and sustain combat operations by providing internal and external lift of troops, weapon systems, supplies, and equipment. In its A2C2S role, the Black Hawk provides full Joint and combined interoperability with other command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance elements to Commanders at all echelons. The UH-60M is also utilized in support of homeland security and natural disaster relief operations, such as fire suppression, personnel recovery, and key personnel transport. The UH-60M is vital to the homeland security needs of our nation.
What has the Army done?
The Army will procure new UH-60M/HH-60M (MEDEVAC variant) in order to extend the fleet’s lift and range capabilities; reduce operation and sustainment costs; enhance survivability; improve strategic transportability; integrate Air Warrior, digitized avionics, and flight management systems; incorporate Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) requirements; and extend aircraft life.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue to integrate emerging technology enhancements on the UH-60M fleet and subsequent variants to increase the reliability, availability, and maintainability of the platform through technologies such as embedded diagnostics and prognostics. Furthermore, the Army plans to improve the safety of the platform through the addition of military flight operations quality assurance, GATM, and Level One flight-handling capabilities provided by Fly-by-Wire (FBW) technology. In addition, plans exist to increase the rotorcraft interoperability through the integration of a Common Aviation Architecture System shared with the CH-47 (Chinook), armed reconnaissance helicopter, and the special operations helicopter fleets through a Common Engine Program shared with the AH-64 (Apache) fleet. The Army also plans several weight reduction initiatives such as composite tail cone and driveshaft and integration of FBW technologies. The UH-60M, HH-60M, and MH-60M variants are expected to meet utility, special operations, and MEDEVAC mission requirements through 2025.
Why is this important to the Army?
This approach will provide the Joint Operational Commander with a modernized air assault, MEDEVAC, and command and control platform that is more capable, reliable, and operationally available to meet the future force modular brigade combat teams’ support and operational war requirements.