S-70A: U.S. Army UH-60L Black Hawk, UH-60Q DUSTOFF, MH-6
This upgrade, primarily in installed power, was needed to restore performance lost by the “A” model due to many weight increases during its 11-year production run of nearly 1000 units. During that period, the UH-60A model went through a maturing phase reflecting combat service experience combined with the rigors of high flight time and environmental stress particularly in the Middle East as well as other combat areas described in the UH-60A history accessible on this website.
With its increased power and strengthened cargo hook, the UH-60L
The Army’s operational and combat experience indicated the need for features and equipment that were not envisioned when the Black Hawk program began. In addition, service experience showed that the reliability and durability of certain aircraft systems needed to be improved. As equipment and features were added and components were strengthened, weight growth of the UH-60A began to degrade aircraft flight performance. The development of the UH-60L model to replace the “A” model was intended to restore that lost performance especially in hot and high ambient conditions by upgrading its propulsion system.
The UH-60A empty weight grew nearly one pound for every aircraft delivered essentially on a linear basis as
Each pound that was added reduced performance, particularly vertical climb capability and cruise speed, which finally fell below the Army’s minimum specification requirements of 450 fpm and 145 knots. The last UH-60A delivered weighed 11,253 lbs. against a specification weight that had also increased over the years to 11,284 lbs. reflecting the sum total all engineering change proposals and specification change notices issued since production started in 1976.
The power of the original T700-GE-700 engines was insufficient to achieve specification performance at that increased weight. Since higher power was needed to recover performance, the Army took advantage of the T700-GE401C engines developed by the Navy for the Seahawk program and created a version to power the new UH-60L model. Certain structural design changes were made in the propulsion system to accommodate the increased power.
With this substantial power increase, the UH-60L not only recovered performance lost by a decade of weight increases but it provided performance margins that extended mission capabilities much above the “A” model. For example, external load capacity increased from 8,000 to 9,000 pounds permitting the “L” model to transport many artillery weapons and vehicles that could not be carried by the “A” model. This increased performance also permitted development of much more advanced MEDEVAC models in addition to configurations tailored to the U.S. Army Special Forces and U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command as described below under Related Models.
General Arrangement Drawing
The External Stores Support System (ESSS) enabled all Black Hawk models to carry a wide variety
General Characteristics and Performance
The performance and specifications presented below accurately describe the UH-60L model at a point in time. Some variation to these data can be expected as a result of subsequent engine power rating changes and aircraft design changes.
The UH-60Q DUSTOFF was the most advanced MEDEVAC helicopter at the time. It was derived
The UH-60Q was configured and equipped with high technology medical equipment including an oxygen generating system, an intravenous solutions warming and cooling unit, a cardiac monitoring system, a powered litter lift system and outlets for 28V dc as well as 110/220V ac electrical power and night vision compatible lighting. The new litter system could accommodate six acute care patients and provided far better patient access than did the original system designed many years earlier for the UH-60A.
The UH-60Q was also equipped with a cockpit-mounted Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) system, weather radar, satellite communications and global positioning system. Its medical systems, range extension tanks and all-weather capability enabled it to perform battlefield evacuation, combat search and rescue, forward surgical team support as well as humanitarian relief missions.
The UH-60L provided the base airframe for several other models including the U.S. Air Force Pave Hawks series starting with the HH-60G. This model replaced the earlier U.S.A.F. MH-60G that was based on the UH-60A Black Hawk. The Air Force missions included long-range infiltration and recovery of special operation forces as well as recovery of downed pilots. Special equipment was installed to permit night and all-weather operation at long ranges. Both Pave Hawk models could be fitted with two 7.62 Minigun in the gunner windows or two 0.50 caliber guns in the cabin door opening. Approximately 100 Pave Hawks were delivered most of which were HH-60G models as of this writing.
The U.S. Air Force MH-60G was developed for its Special Operations Command in 1986 based on a
The U.S.A.F. HH-60G was developed from the UH-60L airframe to take advantage of its increased
U.S. Army Special Forces variants included the MH-60A, which was a derivative of the UH-60A. Approximately 30 were built during the mid 1980s when they were superseded by the MH-60K whose development began in 1987. The “K” version first flew in 1990 with integration of mission equipment performed by the IBM Federal Systems Division. Its special features for long-range operation include enlarged internal fuel tanks (360 gallons), an aerial refueling probe and external tank system (ETS). It is also equipped with terrain avoidance radar and Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) turret. Defensive equipment in addition to suppressive-fire weapons included a missile warning receiver, chaff dispenser and radar warning system.
The U.S. Army Special Forces MH-60K was equipped to carry two 250-gallon external fuel tanks plus
The chart below illustrates the many U.S. and foreign military Black Hawk models that are related to the UH-60L. Besides the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, primary users of this model include Australia, Columbia, Japan, Korea, and Turkey as of this writing.
This chart shows the many derivative models derived from the UH-60L in chronological order. Specialized version
Additional Information Sources
Prepared by Ray Leoni June 2011
LAST UPDATE 6-21-2012
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