UH-60M Black Hawk

Tuesday August 30, 2011

What is it?

The UH-60M Black Hawk is the Army's new utility helicopter that utilizes the most modern technology in its navigation, communication, and tactical systems. This airframe will extend the service life of the current utility helicopter fleet by an additional 20 years. The UH-60M is equipped with wide-cord rotor blades, a stronger engine, a digital cockpit and is interoperable with the latest Army Aviation Mission Planning Systems. These qualities enable pilots to plan a missions on laptop computers. Currently, the Army plans to procure 1,375 UH-60Ms, which along with the recapitalization of the UH-60L, will bring the fleet to 2,135 aircraft.

Why is this important to the Army?

The UH-60M provides a full range of capabilities for search and rescue, assault, medical, cargo missions, command and control, and aerial sustainment. The UH-60M is an "all terrain, day/night/night-vision-system." The Black Hawk can deliver 11 combat-loaded troops and can transport external loads. The medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) version of the Black Hawk, HH-60M, includes a full medical evacuation mission equipment package in the cabin area, integrated Forward Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) and an onboard oxygen generating system. Because of its patrol, lift and reconnaissance capabilities, other government agencies (OGA) such as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Air Force, are also procuring the new airframe.

What has Army Army done?

The Army has increased the number of HH-60 Black Hawk helicopters required in medical evacuation companies from 12 to 15 airframes.

The Product Office recently fielded 45 new UH/HH-60M to the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade in Fort Bragg, N.C. Concurrently, the Army trained 144 aviators, 24 maintenance test pilots, 230 crew chiefs, 356 avionics technicians and 36 aircraft electricians under a New Equipment Training (NETT) program. By fielding and training the 82nd CAB at their home stations, Soldiers were able to stay with their families longer before deploying to their next tour.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

With an average age exceeding 20 years in our current Black Hawk fleet, the Project Office continues to examine obsolescence and recapitalization programs. Work continues on the T701D engines, which offer more shaft horsepower for Black Hawk and Apache, and is managed under Utility Project Office. The next engine for the fleet is programmed to be the Improved Turbine Engine Program which will offer 3,000 more shaft horsepower and better fuel economy.

Resources:

PEO Aviation

Related article: New Army Black Hawk succeeds in combat

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- Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and the environment, emphasizing that energy is critical to the Army's mission at home and overseas, during her visit to Fort Leonard Wood, Aug. 25

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- Army Reserve Spc. Chad Longell, Fort Meade, Md., reflecting on the closure of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation mandating the new joint facility with the Navy in Bethesda, Md.

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