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UH-60 Black Hawk multirole helicopter

Country of Origin: USA


In production and in service.

First flight occurred on Oct. 17, 1974, as a competitor in the U.S. Army's utility tactical transport aircraft system (UTTAS) program, which selected a successor to the UH-1 Huey helicopter.

Initial operational capability (IOC) was achieved in June 1979.

The 1,000th production helicopter was delivered to the Army in October 1988; the 1,100th had been delivered by end-September 1989. Deliveries of the uprated Black Hawk began in October 1989.

In August...


In June 2005, Sikorsky was awarded a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract worth $245.4 million to manufacture and deliver 22 new UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the U.S. Army. The contract contained options for eight additional UH-60Ms. The deliveries were set to begin in July of 2006, with initial operational testing and evaluation (OPEVAL) in September.

In July 2005, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed Congress that Colombia and Thailand both had requested the purchase of Black Hawk helicopters. The Colombian government requested the sale of eight UH-60Ls with engines, spare and repair parts, tools, logistics support and other related training. The value of this deal could reach $100 million. These helicopters were earmarked for use against the Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia (FARC) and other narco-terrorists. Thailand requested two UH-60Ls, in a deal worth $46 million, to meet Royal Thai Navy utility lift requirements.


The 100th new production UH-60M was rolled out by Sikorsky Aircraft on March 25, 2009.

The first UH-60M helicopter was delivered to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a Sikorsky Aircraft press release dated June 15, 2009.


In April 2012, the Army revealed plans to add new digital avionics to its fleet of older UH-60L helicopters, as well as refurbishing the airframes. During the life-extension work, the Army will install parts of the L-digitization avionics modernization package. The work will extend their service lives by 10 years, as well as add new capabilities. Funding for the upgrades was expected in the fiscal 2013 budget, with a downselect on a contractor to take place that year. Production is expected to begin in fiscal 2016 and cover 760 UH-60Ls. Another objective of the program is to make the upgraded UH-60Ls resemble the new UH-60M as much as possible during operational use.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a $43 million contract on May 4, 2012, for engineering services to convert four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to a specific configuration for Taiwan. Work under the contract was scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, 2014.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on June 13, 2012, that Qatar had requested the sale of 12 UH-60M helicopters; 15 AN/AAR-57 (V)7 common missile warning systems; 15 AN/AVR-2B laser detecting sets; 15 AN/APR-39A(V)4 radar signal detecting sets; 26 M240H machine guns; and 26 AN/AVS-6 night-vision goggles. Also included were M206 infrared countermeasure flares; M211 and M212 advanced infrared countermeasure munition flares; M134D -H machine guns; system integration; spare and repair parts; and associated logistics support. The potential deal was worth US$1.1 billion.

The U.S. Army and Navy finalized an $8.5 billion contract with Sikorsky on July 9, 2012, to buy a baseline quantity of 653 Black Hawk and Seahawk helicopters through December 2017. The deal also provided for the two services to buy as many as 263 more helicopters under the same contractual terms. If exercised, the options could bring the total contract value up to $11.7 billion. The base contract covers UH-60M utility and HH-60M medical evacuation helicopters for the Army and MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters for the Navy. Deliveries under the new contract were scheduled to begin that month, according to a Sikorsky release.

Sikorsky also announced on July 9, 2012, that the Thai army had signed a letter of offer and acceptance to acquire two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on July 20, 2012, that Colombia sought to purchase five UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The potential US$87 million deal covered five aircraft, 10 General Electric T700-GE-701D engines, internal fuel tanks, spare and repair parts and associated technical and logistics support.

On that same date, the DSCA also announced a potential Thai purchase of four UH-60M Black Hawks as part of a US$235 million Foreign Military Sales deal. The requested package also included 10 T700-GE-701D engines and associated spare and repair parts, support equipment and technical and logistics support.

Sikorsky announced on Sept. 13, 2012, that it expected to deliver the last two of 15 UH-60M helicopters to the U.S. Army for transfer to Sweden. The Army would modify the aircraft with an exterior rescue hoist; gunner seats; armored floor; stackable litters; cockpit heater; and an environmental-control system prior to delivery to the Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV). All 15 helicopters would be delivered in 16 months, according to Sikorsky, allowing Sweden to deploy three Black Hawks to Afghanistan in 2013.

On Sept. 18, 2012, Sikorsky said that it had received a contract under the Army's Combat Tempered Platform Demonstration program. This project aims to build on and improve the Black Hawk platform's operational durability and survivability by developing and integrating a suite of advanced technologies and establishing their benefits before integrating them with operational aircraft. The value of the contract was not disclosed. The contract builds on previous Sikorsky work on technologies such as a zero-vibration system; adaptive flight control laws; advanced fire management; durable main rotor; full-spectrum crashworthiness; and damage tolerant airframe. The work will confirm the benefits of the technologies as a complete system through realistic ground and flight testing, according to a Sikorsky release.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a US$804 million contract modification on Nov. 16, 2012, for procurement of UH-60M and HH-60M helicopters. It also covered associated engineering, program management, technical publications and logistics support. Work under the contract is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2014.


Sikorsky and Turkey inked a US$3.5 billion co-production agreement on Feb. 21, 2014. Under the accord, Turkish Aerospace Industries will co-manufacture 109 T-70 utility helicopters, which are based on the S-70. TAI will also assemble 109 S-70i helicopters for Sikorsky, according to a Sikorsky release. The agreement allows TAI to produce nearly every component of the helicopter, including a newly designed Turkish cockpit. Follow-on orders could total more than 600 helicopters with a total value of more than US$20 billion. The initial batch of aircraft will go primarily to the military, with the gendarmerie receiving the largest portion. The army, navy, air force and special operations command will also receive a number of aircraft. The balance of the order will be delivered to the Security Directorate and the Firefighting Dept., reported Defense News.

Defense News reported on March 4, 2014, that Aselsan had signed a US$491.5 million deal with TAI for work on a new glass cockpit; multi-function displays; flight-management system; moving-map system; inertial navigation system; GPS ; identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system; advanced radios; and a self-protection system for the T-70 helicopter. The contract was signed shortly after the TAI deal with Sikorsky, according to Aselsan officials.

On March 11, 2014, Sikorsky's optionally piloted Black Hawk demonstrator made its first flight at the company's Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The helicopter demonstrated autonomous hover and flight operations while being controlled from a man-portable ground-control station, according to a Sikorsky release. The aircraft is being developed under Sikorsky's Manned/Unmanned Resupply Aerial Lifter (MURAL) program, in cooperation with the Army. The optionally piloted capability could provide commanders with the flexibility to determine which missions require crews. This could increase the number of flights, while maintaining crew rest requirements, according to Sikorsky officials.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on April 21, 2014, that the State Dept. had approved a potential Foreign Military Sale of UH-60M helicopters to Mexico. The potential US$680 million deal covered 18 UH-60M helicopters; 40 T700-GE-701D engines (including four spares); 42 embedded GPS /INS systems (including six spares); 36 M134 7.62-mm machine guns; five aviation mission planning systems; 18 AN/AVS-9 night-vision goggles; an aviation ground power unit; AN/ARC-210 RT-8100-series radios; identification-friend-or-foe systems; and associated spare and repair parts and technical and logistics support. The helicopters would be used to modernize the Mexican military and enhance its ability to combat drug-trafficking organizations, the DSCA said.

Army Times reported on May 14, 2014, that Sikorsky planned to develop an autonomous variant of the Black Hawk. The project involved taking a UH-60A helicopter and rewiring it for autonomous operations. The goal is to demonstrate that the helicopter can autonomously take off, fly and land safely. The project will build on Sikorsky's Matrix program, which involved autonomous flight tests with an S-76 helicopter.

On May 20, 2014, the Army awarded Sikorsky a $143.4 million contract modification for 13 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. Work under the deal is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30, 2015.

The Army News Service reported on June 16, 2014, that the Army was in the process of divesting its UH-60A helicopters. Under the Black Hawk Exchange and Sales Transaction (BEST), the oldest aircraft were being returned to Sikorsky in exchange for credit toward the purchase of new UH-60Ms. An initial batch of 17 helicopters had been turned over. Aircraft not selected by Sikorsky are eligible for sale through the General Services Administration Auction program. The Army expects to divest from 400 to 800 aircraft under the next 10 years, said service officials. Sikorsky said it planned to sell parts from the aircraft, reset them or upgrade them to the UH-60L configuration. The Army was set to divest 46 UH-60As by September 2014. The quantity is dependent on the number of UH-60Ms to be purchased annually, said the Army release.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency reported on June 24, 2014, that Mexico was seeking to acquire five UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in the standard U.S. government configuration with designated unique and government-furnished equipment. The potential deal was worth an estimated US$225 million. The proposed sale included 13 T700-GE-701D engines, including three spares; 12 embedded GPS /inertial navigation systems, including two spares; 10 M134 7.62-mm machine guns; five Star Safire III forward-looking infrared sensors; an aviation mission-planning system; an aviation ground power unit; AN/ARC-210 RT-8100-series radios; identification-friend-or-foe systems; spare and repair parts; and associated support.

Sikorsky reported on June 26, 2014, that it had received a $1.28 billion U.S. Air Force contract to develop new combat search-and-rescue helicopters based on the UH-60M. The engineering and manufacturing development contract covers the development and integration of the rescue mission systems; four aircraft; and seven aircrew and maintainer training systems. Initial training of Air Force aircrew and maintainers and five combat rescue helicopters (CRH) are due to be delivered by 2020 under additional contract options. The program has a potential value of $7.9 billion for 112 aircraft. The new CRH offers increased internal fuel and internal cabin space compared to the current HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, according to Sikorsky. Lockheed Martin is supplying the mission equipment, reported Defense News. The helicopters will be designated HH-60W in Air Force service.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency reported on July 24, 2014, that Tunisia had requested the sale of Black Hawk helicopters and associated equipment, parts and training support. The proposed US$700 million deal covered 12 UH-60Ms in the standard U.S. government configuration with designated unique equipment and government-furnished equipment. The contract also included 30 T700-GE-701D engines, including six spares; 26 embedded GPS /inertial navigation systems; 24 M134 7.62-mm machine guns; integration of a precision-guided rocket capability to permit the launch of laser-guided 2.75-in (70-mm) rockets; 9,100 2.75-in Hydra rockets; 100 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; 20 M299 Hellfire missile pods; 24 M261 Hydra-70 rocket pods; 24 GAU-19 .50-cal machine guns; 15 Wescam MX -15Di or Brite Star II electro-optical infrared laser designators; six aviation mission-planning systems; 15 AN/APR-39A(V)4 radar warning receivers; 15 AN/AVR-2B(V)1 laser warning systems; 30 MXF-4027 VHF/UHF radios; 15 AN/APX-117 IFF transponders; 15 VHF digitally selective calling radios; 15 ARN-147 VOR/ILS; 15 AN/ARN-153 tactical air navigation systems; and 15 AN/ARC-220 radios. The helicopters would improve Tunisia's ability to deter regional threats, strength its homeland defense and support counterterrorism operations.

Northrop Grumman announced on Aug. 15, 2014, that it had been selected by Redstone Defense Systems to supply and integrate mission avionics equipment for a digital cockpit upgrade of U.S. Army UH-60L helicopters. Northrop is supplying a scalable, fully integrated mission equipment package and will replace analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays. The upgraded helicopters will be designated the UH-60V. Around 700 to 900 UH-60Ls are expected to be modified.

On Aug. 19, 2014, the U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a $30.4 million contract modification for 12 UH-60M Black Hawks for the Saudi Arabian National Guard. The purchase was made under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. Work was slated to be completed by Aug. 31, 2017.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on Sept. 9, 2014, that Brazil wanted to acquire three UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The proposed US$145 million deal also included eight T-700-GE-701C engines; 12 M134 7.62-mm machine guns; eight H765GU embedded GPS /inertial navigation systems; spare and repair parts; and associated logistics and technical support. The helicopters would provide additional search-and-rescue and internal security capabilities, according to an agency release.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a US$203.6 million contract on Sept. 15, 2014, for 18 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for the Mexican air force under the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. Work was scheduled to be completed by May 30, 2016.

On Sept. 29, 2014, Sikorsky received a $93 million Army contract for eight uniquely configured UH-60M Black Hawks for Mexico's secretary of national defense. Work was scheduled to be completed by June 7, 2015.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a $21.7 million contract modification on Oct. 6, 2014, to exercise a contract option for two UH-60M helicopters for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Work was scheduled to be completed by Sept. 30, 2015.

Sikorsky received a $772 million Army contract modification on Nov. 17, 2014, for 41 UH-60M and 24 HH-60M medical evacuation helicopters and associated support. Work was to be completed by June 30, 2015.

On Dec. 16, 2014, the Pentagon awarded Sikorsky a US$56.4 million Foreign Military Sales contract to supply five UH-60M helicopters for the Mexican navy. Work is to be completed by May 30, 2016. The naval aircraft are equipped with a winch and auxiliary fuel tanks.


On Jan. 20, 2016, United Press International reported that Sikorsky and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh had conducted a joint autonomy demonstration using an unmanned Black Hawk helicopter and an unmanned ground vehicle. Sikorsky provided a UH-60MU helicopter equipped with its Matrix Technology, which transported CMU's Land Tamer UGV to its mission area. The Black Hawk flew a 12-mile (19-km) route with the ground vehicle before releasing it. Once on the ground, the robot traveled a 6-mile (10-km) course, using its sensors to detect hazards and relaying information to a remote ground station.

Northrop Grumman announced on Feb. 15, 2016, that it had successfully completed the critical design review for the UH-60V Black Hawk . The company is supplying a mission equipment package for a digital cockpit upgrade of the U.S. Army's UH-60L Black Hawks under a 2014 contract. The scalable, fully integrated and open architecture cockpit design will replace analog displays with digital electronic displays. The milestone meant that the system was ready for the fabrication and integration phase of the program.

On March 3, 2016, the Jordanian army received eight UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters donated by the United States. Another eight UH-60M helicopters were scheduled for delivery in 2017 as part of a US$200 million grant from Washington. The helicopters would support Jordanian military operations against Islamic State militants along the nation's border, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky Aircraft a US$387.2 million contract modification on March 8, 2016, exercising an option for 35 UH-60M helicopters. Work was scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2016.

BAE Systems announced on March 9, 2016, that it had been selected to provide its AN/DPX-7 reduced size transponder identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) system and Common Missile Warning System (CMWS ) for the U.S. Air Force HH-60W combat rescue helicopter. The HH-60W will be equipped with the CMWS Gen3 system that includes hostile fire indication and data recording capabilities to detect and evade small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. The system can also perform detailed post-mission analysis. An air vehicle design review for the HH-60W was scheduled to be completed in April 2016, noted Jane's Defence Weekly. This was expected to be followed by an order for five system demonstration test vehicles. First flight is scheduled for 2019, with initial operational capability to follow in 2021.

On April 11, 2016, the U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a US$55 million Foreign Military Sales contract for seven "uniquely configured" UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. Work was scheduled to be completed by Feb. 28, 2019.

Sikorsky received a US$88 million contract modification on May 18, 2016, which exercised an option for eight UH-60M helicopters for the U.S. Army. Work was scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2017.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a US$85.3 million contract on May 31, 2016, to retrofit UH-60M helicopters to full operational capability for the Mexican military. Work was scheduled to be completed by April 30, 2019.

Defense News reported on June 7, 2016, that after several months of negotiations, a US$3.5 billion utility helicopter contract between the Turkish government and Sikorsky had taken effect. Ankara selected Sikorsky for its utility helicopter program in 2011 and inked a preliminary contract in 2014. Negotiations continued thereafter over U.S. export licenses for the planned T-70 Black Hawk . The helicopter is the Turkish variant of the S-70 Black Hawk International. Under the 10-year program, the T-70s will be delivered to the Turkish army, air force, gendarmerie, Special Forces Command, security directorate and forestry directorate. The T-70 contract involves the co-production in Turkey of an initial batch of 109 aircraft. The total could reach 300 due to future Turkish requirements, according to the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM). The program also calls for one helicopter to be exported for every T-70 built in Turkey. Tusas Engine Industries (TEI) will produce the T-700 engine for the T-70. Aselsan will design, develop and produce the glass cockpit avionics. The cockpit was to be used in all Black Hawk exports, except for those procured by the U.S. Army.

On July 12, 2016, Defense News reported that Lockheed Martin had received an order for its new armed Black Hawk design, which had just been revealed at the Farnborough Airshow in the U.K. The company anticipated certifying a base configuration by the end of 2016. The customer was not named, but the order was expected to total 24 platforms. The armed Black Hawk displayed at the airshow features dual-window crew-served UKM2000, M240 or M134 miniguns; four Hellfire missiles, 70-mm Hydra rocket pods and an FN-Herstal HMP gun pod on the wings; and Lockheed's Infirno electro-optical/infrared sensor mount on the nose of the helicopter. Direct-Attack Guided Rockets (DAGR ) may also be fitted. The design differs from other ad hoc Black Hawk armed systems because it integrates the weapon system into the existing cockpit rather than requiring a separate control stick to be bolted on, said Lockheed officials. The upgrade would likely take about a month in depot to complete, the officials said. Depending on the weapons configuration, the cabin could seat troops for a combined arms assault; fire-suppression and support mission; store additional ammunition for the guns and rocket pods; or carry an internal 200-gal (757-liter) auxiliary fuel tank system for extended range, said a Lockheed release.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a US$158.4 million contract modification on Aug. 30, 2016, for 14 UH-60 helicopters. Work was scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2017.

On Aug. 31, 2016, Sikorsky received a US$135.4 million contract modification for the Foreign Military Sale of 24 UH-60M uniquely configured Black Hawk helicopters to Taiwan. Work was scheduled to be completed by Oct. 8, 2018.

Defense News reported on Sept. 19, 2016, that Sikorsky had indicated that it could begin deliveries of HH-60W combat rescue helicopters to the U.S. Air Force as much as six months ahead of schedule. The program had completed a development review in April 2016 and another for the training component in August 2016, which were both successful, according to company officials.

The U.S. Army let a pair of Foreign Military Sales contracts to Sikorsky for UH-60M helicopters on Sept. 28, 2016. One deal, worth US$148.7 million, covered six uniquely configured UH-60M helicopters for the Taiwan National Airborne Service Corp. Work was scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2021. Another contract, valued at US$38.4 million, was for four uniquely modified UH-60Ms for the Tunisian Ministry of National Defense. Work was scheduled to be completed by April 30, 2020.

Flight International reported on Oct. 10, 2016, that the Polish Defense Ministry planned to quickly conclude a deal with PZL Mielec for S-70i helicopters for its special operations forces. Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said the ministry would seek to finalize a deal before the end of the year, so that deliveries could begin before 2017. Poland previously indicated a requirement for 10 to 12 special operations helicopters. These are likely to be in a similar configuration to the armed Black Hawk that was unveiled by Lockheed at the Farnborough Air Show in the U.K. (see above). The announcement came shortly after the Polish Ministry of Economic Development ended 18 months of talks with Airbus Helicopters for 50 H225M Caracal helicopters.

On Oct. 13, 2016, Sikorsky delivered the 1,000th H-60M helicopter to the U.S. Army at its headquarters in Stratford, Conn. Sikorsky delivered the first UH-60M in 2007 and the first HH-60M medical evacuation helicopter in 2008. The ceremony marked the delivery of the 792nd UH-60M and 208th HH-60M helicopters, according to a Lockheed release.

Flight Global reported on Nov. 4, 2016, that Honeywell had fielded its Aspire 200 satellite communications system on at least 20 UH-60 Black Hawks in a specialized U.S. Army aviation unit. The systems were installed on helicopters that needed extra surveillance capability, said Honeywell officials. The Aspire system allows satellite communications to move through the rotor blades without interruption. A recent high data-rate upgrade enhanced Inmarsat L-band services and incorporated a long-burst interleaver. As data is broken up, Honeywell's software repairs the data into an algorithm that understands how to travel through the rotor blades and creates a secure stream, the officials said. The upgrade increased the data rate from 432 kbps to 650 kbps.

Lockheed Martin announced on Dec. 7, 2016, that Sikorsky had finalized a contract with the Chilean air force for six S-70i Black Hawk helicopters for the service's medium-lift helicopter recapitalization program. Deliveries were scheduled for 2018. The value of the deal was not disclosed.


The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a US$193.9 million Foreign Military Sales contract on Jan. 11, 2018, for 17 UH-60M helicopters in a unique configuration for Saudi Arabia. The deal covered eight aircraft for the Saudi Arabian National Guard and nine for the Royal Saudi Land Forces Airborne Special Security Forces. Work under the contract was scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31, 2022.

On Jan. 28, 2018, the U.S. delivered the last two of 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters being supplied to Jordan. The helicopters were handed over during a ceremony at the King Abdullah II Air Base in northeastern Jordan, reported Agence France-Presse. The aircraft were to bolster Jordan's border security capabilities and to support cross-border raids against Islamist militants, noted Reuters. Delivery of the Black Hawks began in March 2017.

Lockheed Martin announced on Feb. 20, 2018, that Sikorsky had begun final assembly for the first HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter for the U.S. Air Force. The milestone supported an accelerated schedule for the program. First flight for the aircraft was anticipated at the end of 2018, about two months ahead of schedule, said a Lockheed release. Final assembly involved installing the tactical mission kit, including integrating, sensors, radar and self-defense systems. A new fuel system with dual internal tanks totaling 660 gal (2,498 liters), nearly twice the capacity of the internal fuel tank on the UH-60M, is also fitted.

The U.S. Army reported on March 23, 2018, that UH-60A/L pilots recently tested technology that could enhance how Black Hawk aircrews plan and execute missions. The Air Soldier System (Air SS) allows aircrews to receive improved situational awareness, increased mobility and comfort, additional crewmember protection, extended mission duration, reduced cockpit workload, improved critical flight function performance and increased system reliability. The system modernizes the older analog UH-60A/L aircraft with moving digital maps and significantly improved day, night, color head-up display. The next major milestone for the Air SS program is a full-rate initial production decision for the soldier computer module; mission display module; and helmet display and tracking system components. It also gives pilots the Blue Force Tracker capability.

In June 2018, the U.S. Army delivered the last four of eight UH-60Ms purchased by Tunisia through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program. The helicopters will provide transport, medical evacuation and combat capabilities to the Tunisian army. The first four aircraft were handed over in June 2017, noted an Army release on Nov. 21, 2018.

Northrop Grumman announced on July 12, 2018, that it had delivered software to the U.S. Army for the UH-60V helicopter, which would allow it to enter limited user testing. Under a 2014 contract, Northrop Grumman was working with Redstone Defense Systems to upgrade UH-60L aircraft with cockpit improvements, including replacing analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays. The new digital cockpit software provides the functionality needed for the limited user test, which will evaluate the system's operational readiness, capabilities and compatibility with the UH-60M Pilot-Vehicle Interface. The trials will inform a Milestone C low-rate initial production decision, said a company release. The UH-60V was scheduled to enter low-rate production in 2019.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on Aug. 3, 2018, that the U.S. State Dept. had approved a potential Foreign Military Sale of UH-60M helicopters to Latvia. The proposed US$200 million deal covered four UH-60Ms in the standard U.S. government configuration with designated unique equipment and government-furnished equipment; 10 T700-GE-701D engines (including two spares); 10 embedded GPS/inertial navigation systems (two spares); an aviation mission-planning system; five Talon forward-looking infrared radar (one spare); 10 AN/ARC-210D/E (two spares); 10 AN/ARC-231 radios (two spares); five AN/APX-123A IFF transponders (one spare); five AN/ARC-220 radio (one spare); 20 AN/AVS-6 helmet-mounted night-vision devices; spare and repair parts; and associated technical and logistics support. The Black Hawks would significantly improve Latvia's ability to provide troop lift; border security; anti-terrorist; medical evacuation; search-and-rescue; and combat support capabilities, as well as increasing interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces.

On Aug. 22, 2018, the Austrian Ministry of Defense reported that the military would receive additional funding to buy three additional S-70A Black Hawk helicopters as part of a 400 million euro (US$465 million) Civil Protection Package that had just been approved by the government. The order would bring the air force's Medium Transport Helicopter Squadron at Langenlebarn Air Base to 12 S-70As.

Jane's Defence Weekly reported on Nov. 30, 2018, that Latvia had finalized a contract for four UH-60M helicopters. The deal was signed about a month previously, according to Latvian defense officials. The sale had been approved by the U.S. in August (see above). The aircraft were expected to be in service in time to replace the air force's aging Mi-17 helicopters by 2021, the officials said. The process to introduce the Black Hawks into service had already begun.

PZL Mielec announced on Dec. 3, 2018, that it had delivered two S-70i helicopters to the Polish national police, which had been ordered in May 2018. The police ordered a third aircraft in November 2018, which was due for delivery by the end of March 2019.

Sikorsky Aircraft received a US$59 million Army contract on Dec. 20, 2018, for the procurement, fabrication and assembly of UH-60M kits, additional spare parts and long lead production material for Saudi Arabia under the Foreign Military Sales program. Work was scheduled to be completed by May 31, 2022.


Military Times reported on Jan. 28, 2020, that the U.S. military had decided to cut the number of Black Hawk helicopters it was providing to the Afghan air force from 159 to 53. The reduction was based on a review of future operational requirements, according to a Pentagon report dated December 2019. No other details were provided.

On Feb. 27, 2020, the Air Force announced that the HH-60W combat rescue helicopter would be named the Jolly Green II in honor of the Vietnam-era HH-3E Jolly Green and HH-53 Super Jolly Green, which pioneered the combat search-and-rescue mission.

Northrop Grumman reported on April 22, 2020, that the integrated avionics suite for the UH-60V Black Hawk had recently completed initial operational test and evaluation. The company supplied digital cockpit upgrades for the suite. The upgraded avionics provide improved situational awareness and safety for pilots, reduced workload and lifecycle cost. The open architecture provides greater mission flexibility and simplifies future upgrades, said Northrop Grumman. It provides a nearly identical pilot interface as the UH-60M enabling common training and operational employment. The new glass cockpit would also support the latest Global Air Traffic Management requirements, reported Flight Global.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on July 6, 2020, that Lithuania had requested the sale of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters under the Foreign Military Sales program. The possible US$380 million deal covered six UH-60Ms in the standard U.S. government configuration with designated unique and government-furnished equipment. The proposed sale also included 14 T700-GE-701D engines (two spares); eight AN/AAR-57 common missile warning systems (CMWS) (two spares); 12 M240H machine guns; 15 Eagle +429 embedded GPS/inertial navigation (EGI) system (three spares); and eight AN/APX-123A identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) transponders (two spares).

The potential deal covered 15 AN/ARC-201D (three spares), 15 AN/ARC-231 (three spares) and eight AN/ARC-220 radios (two spares); two VRC-100 HF radio ground stations (one spare); eight AN/AVR-2B laser warning receivers (two spares); 12 CMWS user data modules; eight Talon forward-looking infrared radar (two spares); 30 AN/AVS-6 night-vision goggles; 15 AN/AVS-7 improved head-up displays (three spares); and associated equipment, parts and technical and logistics support.

On July 7, 2020, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency reported that the U.S. State Dept. had approved the sale of a UH-60M helicopter to Jordan. The proposed US$23 million deal covered a single UH-60M in the standard U.S. Army configuration with standard government-furnished equipment, including two T700-GE-701D engines and a common missile warning system. The potential Foreign Military Sale also included an APR-39 radar signal detecting set; AN/AVR-2B laser detecting set; two AN/ARC-231 radios; two AN/ARC-201D radios; an AN/APX-123A identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) transponders; two embedded GPS with inertial navigation (EGI) systems; a CMWS user data module; aviation mission planning system; and associated equipment, parts and technical and logistics support. The UH-60M would supplement the Jordan Royal Squadron's existing Black Hawk fleet and would be used to transport the Jordanian royal family, the agency said.

The U.S. Air Force conducted the first aerial refueling with its new HH-60W Jolly Green II over Eglin AFB on Aug. 5, 2020. During the trial, the HH-60W successfully connected with an HC-130J tanker at an altitude of about 3,000 ft (910 m). The event marked the start of two weeks of developmental testing of the helicopter's aerial refueling capabilities, the service said. The trials were designed to evaluate the ability of the aircraft to hook up with the fuel drogue and its handling during refueling. The testing would begin in daylight and conclude with nighttime refueling using night-vision goggles.

The first two HH-60W Jolly Greens for the Air Force were delivered to the 23rd Wing and 347th Rescue Group at Moody AFB, Ga., on Nov. 5, 2020.

The Philippine News Agency reported on Nov. 10, 2020, that the first five of 16 S-70i Black Hawk helicopters built in Poland for the Philippine air force had been delivered. A sixth helicopter was scheduled to be delivered in December. The balance of the order was scheduled to be handed over in early 2021. The Philippine air force formally commissioned six S-70is during a ceremony on Dec. 10, 2020, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Another 10 helicopters were due to be handed over in early 2021. The air force had also expressed interest in acquiring another 16 S-70is, noted Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

On Nov. 13, 2020, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense signed a US$213 million contract with the U.S. for four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, equipment, spare and repair parts and training and support. The U.S. government was providing about US$30 million in financial support for the acquisition, the ministry said. Deliveries were anticipated to begin in late 2024, once an initial batch of fully trained crewmembers and maintenance personnel was ready. The Black Hawks would replace aging Mi-8T helicopters, said the ministry.

The U.S. Army awarded Sikorsky a US$507 million contract modification on Dec. 9, 2020, for UH-60M and HH-60M helicopters. Work was scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2022.


Northrop Grumman reported on Feb. 1, 2022, that it had received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's (DARPA's) Perceptually-Enabled Task Guidance (PTG) program to develop a prototype artificial intelligence assistant. The prototype would be embedded in an augmented reality (AR) headset to help helicopter pilots perform expected and unanticipated tasks, the company said. The Operator and Context Adaptive Reasoning Intuitive Assistant (OCARINA), to be developed with the University of Central Florida, would support UH-60 Black Hawk pilots who fly using both visual and instrumented flight. The prototype is intended to help expand the pilot's skillset, helping teach new tasks; aiding in the recognition and reduction of errors; improving task completion time; and helping to prevent catastrophic events, Northrop Grumman officials said. 

DARPA's PTG program hopes to develop AI technologies to help users perform complex mental and physical tasks. Users of PTG AI assistants would wear sensors that permit the assistant to observe what the user perceives and know what the user knows. Using advanced information processing and an AR interface, the objective is to have the AI assistant provide feedback and guidance through speech and aligned graphics at the right place and time to augment the aircrew, said Northrop Grumman. 

On Feb. 3, 2022, the U.S. delivered two UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters to the Croatian armed forces at Zagreb Airport, reported the U.S. Embassy in Croatia. The Black Hawk systems were worth US$54 million, the embassy said. 

PZL Mielec announced on Feb. 22, 2022, that it had signed a contract with the Philippines for 32 additional S-70is for delivery by 2026. All 32 helicopters would be delivered to the air force's 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing in a general utility configuration, including a color weather radar; digital map; cabin troop seats; and a 9,000-lb (4,080-kg) cargo hook. The deal was worth US$624 million and including integrated logistics support and training, reported Jane's. PZL Mielec had completed delivery of 16 previously ordered S-70is to the 205th Tactical Helicopter Wing in December 2021, the company noted. The additional helicopters would improve the air force's search-and-rescue, humanitarian and disaster relief and troop transport capabilities.

Defense News reported on March 8, 2022, that the U.S. Air Force expected to begin operational testing of the HH-60W Jolly Green II by the end of the month. The helicopter had made considerable progress in testing, with more than 40 percent of test and evaluation requirements completed at the time, according to service officials. The progress included the completion of certification of the Jolly Green IIs weapons. Radar warning receiver testing was the final step before initial operational testing and evaluation could begin. That work was slated to start by March 30, 2022. 

At the time, the Air Force had ordered 66 HH-60Ws in four lots, with 17 delivered as of January 2022, the newspaper said. Sikorsky expected to delivery about one helicopter per month through Lot 1, with deliveries increasing to three helicopters every two months for Lots 3 and 4. Company officials said that they anticipated that the Air Force would  begin ordering Jolly Green IIs for the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve starting with Lot 5, with that order slated for fiscal 2023. At the current pace, the service would order the last of the planned 113 helicopters in 2026 or 2027, with deliveries concluding three years later. Initial operational capability was anticipated by the end of 2022, said Sikorsky officials.

Breaking Defense reported on March 23, 2022, that the Army had started testing the new GE T901 engine, developed under the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP) and intended for AH-64 and UH-60 helicopters as well as the planned Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program. The first engine would undergo 100 hours of run time as part of rigorous trials. GE produced the initial powerplant under a 2019 contract, noted the news site. The GE T901 produces 3,000 shp and is 50 percent more powerful than the T700 engines on the Apache and Black Hawk helicopters with 25 percent improved fuel consumption, according to General Electric. Following initial testing, several T901 powerplants were slated to undergo Army Military Airworthiness Certification Criteria trials in the summer of 2022. If successful, the program would move into ground and flight worthiness testing. Once completed, the engine would have gone through 1,500 hours of full-scale ground testing for the preliminary flight rating phase and 5,000 hours of trials for full engine qualification.

Defense News reported on March 23, 2022, that the Air Force's HH-60W Jolly Green II had begun operational testing at Nellis AFB, Nev. The last HH-60W had departed Eglin AFB, Fla., on March 22, concluding initial development testing, the service said. Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center’s Detachment 5 would conduct the initial operational test and evaluation, while the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Nellis, which focuses on combat search-and-rescue capabilities, developed tactics, techniques and procedures for the Jolly Green II. 

The newspaper noted that the announcement came days after the Air Force announced that it wanted to reduce its order for the HH-60W from 113 to 75 as part of a shift toward high-intensity conflict with peer or near-peer competitors. When the program was first announced, the service was still focused on counterinsurgency conflicts in which the U.S. had virtually uncontested control of the airspace. The Air Force planned to purchase its last 10 HH-60Ws in fiscal 2023. At the time, the first 17 helicopters had been delivered.

Northrop Grumman reported on April 18, 2022, that the U.S. Army Systems Readiness Directorate had granted the instrument flight rules airworthiness release to the UH-60V helicopter with the Northrop Grumman OpenLift architecture. The release permits pilots to fly the UH-60V under all meteorological conditions, the company said. 

On May 25, 2022, two Black Hawk helicopters supplied to Croatia by the U.S. were unveiled at the Pleso airbase, reported the Croatian News Agency. The aircraft and associated equipment were valued at US$138 million, with the U.S. covering US$53 million of the cost and the Croatian Defense Ministry the balance. The helicopters would be primarily used for troop and cargo transport missions, officials said. Additional Black Hawks were scheduled to be delivered before the end of the year.

Defense News reported on June 27, 2022, that Sikorsky had received its 10th five-year contract, worth US$2.3 billion, for another 120 UH-60M helicopters, with options for an additional 135 aircraft for the U.S. Army and Foreign Military Sales program customers, according to the Dept. of Defense. If all options were exercised, the deal could be worth up to US$4.4 billion, the Army said. The service said that it expected to save about US$387 million, or about 14.5 percent, for the base quantity compared to ordering through annual contracts. Deliveries under the deal were scheduled to begin in July 2022 and continue through 2027. 

Breaking Defense reported on Aug. 22, 2022, that the UH-60V had successfully completed its initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E). The milestone paved the way for the Army to make a full-rate production decision for the upgrade to UH-60L helicopters, officials said. The Army requested US$178.7 million for 28 UH-60V kits in its fiscal 2023 budget request. The IOT&E began on July 5 with three weeks of preliminary testing totaling 120 flight hours, followed by record trials from July 28 to Aug. 5, reported Defense News. A total of 200 flight hours were completed by five UH-60Vs under "realistic battlefield conditions," according to program officials. 

Australia was seeking to buy UH-60M helicopters from the U.S., reported the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency on Aug. 25, 2022. The proposed US$1.95 billion deal covered 40 UH-60Ms; 88 T700-GE 701D engines (eight spares); 44 AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (four spares); and 96 H-764U embedded GPS with inertial navigation (EGI) and country unique selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM) (or future replacement).

The possible deal also included AN/ARC-231 RT-1808A (or future replacement) VHF/UHF/LOS SATCOM radios; APR-39C(V)1/4 radar warning receivers; AVR-2B laser detecting sets; APX-123A identification-friend-or-foe transponder; ARC-220 HF radio with KY-100M; VRC-100 ground stations; AN/PYQ-10 simple key loader (SKL); KIV-77 common IFF applique crypto computers; KY-100M communications security encryption devices; AN/ARN-147(V) VHF omnidirectional range(VOR)/instrument landing system (ILS) receiver radio; AN/ARN-149(V) LF/automatic direction finder (ADF) radio receiver; AN/ARN-153 tactical air navigation system (TACAN) receiver transmitter; AN/APN-209 radar altimeter; AN/ARC-210 radios; EBC-406HM emergency locator transmitter (ELT); encrypted aircraft wireless intercommunications systems (EAWIS); improved head-up display (IHUD); Blue Force Trackers (BFT-2); improved data modems (IDM); color weather radars; MX-10D EO/IR with laser designator; EO/IR digital video recorder; AN/ARC-201D RT-1478D; engine inlet barrier filters (EIBF); ballistic armor protection systems (BAPS); internal auxiliary fuel tank systems (IAFTS); fast rope insertion extraction system (FRIES); external rescue hoist; rescue hoist equipment sets; dual patient litter system (DPLS) sets; Martin-Baker palletized crew chief/gunner Seats with crashworthy floor structural modifications; external stores support system (ESSS); universal software loading kits; 60kVA generator kits; external gun mount systems; and other associated equipment and technical and logistics support. 

The Black Hawks would replace Australia's existing MRH-90 helicopters with a more reliable and proven system that would allow Australia to maintain an appropriate level of readiness for combined operations, the agency said.

On Oct. 12, 2022, the U.S. Air Force declared initial operational capability for its new HH-60W Jolly Green II combat rescue helicopters, reported Flight Global. The milestone indicates that the service has sufficient aircraft, logistics and trained operators to support a 30-day deployment to any independent location with a package of four helicopters. The HH-60W is replacing aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters for combat search-and-rescue missions. At the time, Sikorsky said it had delivered 24 HH-60Ws to the Air Force from a requirement for 113.

Lockheed Martin announced on Nov. 2, 2022, that Sikorsky and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) had successfully demonstrated the ability of an uncrewed Black Hawk to perform internal and external cargo resupply missions and a rescue operation while flying autonomously. During the U.S. Army's Project Convergence 22 experiment at Yuma Proving Ground, Ariz., the flights showed how in the future helicopters could fly complex missions with a reduced crew or in an autonomous mode. The Sikorsky and DARPA team demonstrated how an optionally piloted Black Hawk could deliver cargo while flying low and fast above ground level, using terrain to mask its signature; resupply troops with an external load; and reroute midflight to rescue a casualty. The helicopter used Sikorsky's MATRIX autonomy system for the flights. Sikorsky officials said they believed that the MATRIX technology was ready to make the transition to the Army for military operations such as aircrew support and operations, logistics and medical resupply and casualty evacuation. Potential civilian applications included firefighting, cargo and urban air mobility.

The Army awarded Sikorsky a US$98.9 million contract on Nov. 15, 2022, for an unspecified number of UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. Work was scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2027.

Northrop Grumman announced on Nov. 22, 2022, that it had been selected to provide engineering services for a KBR-led five-year, US$156.7 million Dept. of Defense Information Analysis Center (DoD IAC) multiple-award contract (MAC) vehicle. IAC MAC task orders are intended to develop and create new knowledge for the enhancement of the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) repository and the research and development and science and technology community. As part of the deal, Northrop Grumman would explore a wide range of capabilities to to keep the UH-60V relevant in multidomain operation environments, company officials said.

The Latvian air force received its first Black Hawk helicopter at Lielvarde air base on Dec. 11, 2022, reported the Latvian Public Broadcasting (LSM). The two aircraft were delivered in partially disassembled form. Once reassembled, test flights could begin. Riga ordered four UH-60Ms in 2018 to replace aging Mi-17 helicopters.

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