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Helicopter, Black Hawk Utility (UH-60M)

What is it?
The Black Hawk Utility Helicopter (UH-60M) is the Army’s Current and Future Force utility and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) helicopter. It is a twin engine, single rotor helicopter that is designed to support the Army's air mobility doctrine for employment of land forces in the 21st Century. The UH-60M is an improved version of the existing UH-60 Black Hawk designed and developed to meet evolving warfighting concepts and ensure the system is equipped and capable of meeting operational requirements. Improvements enhance the future division commander's ability to conduct non-linear, simultaneous, integrated operations to decisively mass the effects of warfighting assets.

As a critical system of systems, the UH-60M helicopter provides networked digital connectivity for enhanced situational awareness and information exchange, improved external lift capability, increased range, and improved survivability to meet the maneuver commander's need to conduct distributed, multidimensional operations throughout the entire spectrum of the future battle-space. Additionally, the UH-60M, with the integrated MEDEVAC mission equipment package (MEP), provides day, night, and adverse weather emergency evacuation of casualties through an improved evacuation platform for tactical, en route patient care, and evacuation. The integration of the MEDEVAC MEP onto the UH-60M changes the nomenclature to Hospital Helicopter (HH)-60M. The UH-60M is a key element to the U.S. Army Modernization Plan, which in turn has its basis in the Army Vision and overarching modernization plan.

The Modernization Plan provides a proactive course of continuous improvement supporting the National Military Strategy and the Army Vision. The UH-60M modernization strategy reflects the Army Vision and Army modernization goals, 2010 war fighting requirements, and emerging structure changes to meet the Army's new vision. 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; and extend aircraft life.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for UH-60M?
The Army will continue to integrate emerging technology enhancements on the UH-60M fleet and subsequent variants to increase the reliability, survivability, and maintainability of the platform through technologies. Furthermore, the Army plans to improve the safety, mission effectiveness and maintenance of the aircraft through the integration of technologies such as fly-by-wire (FBW), composite structure, and improved aircraft survivability equipment. The FBW provides increased capabilities to operate in degraded visual environments increasing safety margins for the aircraft in hostile, high work load environments. In addition, the integration of a Common Aviation Architecture System shared with the CH-47 (Chinook) and the special operations helicopter fleets bring operations and sustainment improvements through the use of common hardware. The Army is also consolidating its engine controls across its already common engine program shared with the AH-64 (Apache) fleet. 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 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.

 
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