The Black Hawk helicopter has served the U.S. Army well. But it's been around since 1979. Time for a revamp, with advanced electronics, more-powerful engines, and various other tweaks. The UH-60M Upgrade, as it's officially known, made its first flight last summer, and the Connecticut aircraft-manufacturer Sikorsky will start delivering them to the Army next year and ramp up to full production by 2013.
Here's a look at what's new, clockwise from its crown.
More Powerful Engines
A pair of new turboshaft engines built by General Electric together deliver 3,988 horsepower. Combined with the new rotors, the helicopter generates 500 pounds more lift than its predecessor and can fly 17 mph faster.
For lightweight strength, the rotor blades contain a honeycomb-shaped core made of a Kevlar-like material called Nomex that's wrapped in a fiberglass skin.
The UH-60M Upgrade will be the Army's first fly-by-wire helicopter: Electronics, rather than a mechanical system of cables, pipes and hydraulics, connect the controls to the actuators that physically steer the aircraft. The fly-by-wire system also does a lot of the pilot's thinking for him. It automatically handles basic coordination controls so the pilot can focus on the mission plan. It can even hover automatically, with no human input.
Pilots have at their disposal full-color flat-screen digital flight monitors, a "stormscope" that can spot severe weather fronts, a computerized system that automatically monitors the health of the entire craft, and plenty of other mundane-sounding but essential computer upgrades—new data connections, modems and GPS.
Self-healing Fuel System
The lines and valves connected to the fuel tanks seal off in the event of a crash.
I want one!
The Army's real 21st century chopper is JHL:
It puts the UH-60M to shame in speed, payload, range and altitude.
Great more stuff to help kill more human beings. USA military = nazi germany.
Wow boka, Your insightful opinion on the new Black Hawk was inspiring and cerebral. I sleep better at night knowing that intellectual people such as yourself are on high alert for crimes against humanity. The United States needs more people like you.
Well the wife flies the CH-47 and it completely knocks the UH-60 (Blackhawk) out of the park on almost every measure that matters with the exception of profile and sexiness. That last point being the main reason the brass fly around in dirt darts...ahem, I mean 60s. If they reviewed the safety and survivability records, they would choose to fly around in big green bananas instead of something akin to porsches that can't stay aloft and can't always safely land if they lose an engine. 47s have no such limitations.
The Joint Heavy Lift (JHL mentioned above) program is ambitious. If it invades established combat roles, it will certainly create friction with the Air Force just as the cancelled AH-56 Cheyenne did. If they try to do accomplish too much, it will be ridiculously costly as the RAH-66 Comanche was.
The proof, as they say, is in the eating. I'll be impressed if they can surpass the CH-53 and CH-47 for lift, versatility and safety without the aircraft becoming either an unruly montser (requiring decades of tweaks like the Osprey has), a pie-in-the-sky sucking budgetary wound, or a plain, old white elephant in an era of lighter, faster, cheaper and unmanned aviation solutions.
Just a thought...depressing as it is.
Boka your a complete and utter DUMBASS. The only reason you sit at your computer, getting fat eating McDonalds is because the men and women of the U.S. Military fight and die for YOU. Saying that makes you look stupid and I have now written you off as a disgrace to humanity. Go live in another country and tell us how you feel and stop sucking the U.S. jobs up. Wow your stupid.
Boka you are a terrible person. The terrorists that fight there go to make themselvs sacrifices of thier religion and look on ding with honor. So we are not doing aney harm if the people aready want to be killed. If it weren't for the US army we might not be alive now. You SUCK. I totally agree with anyone who opposes you.
I have to say boca, u could have been a bit more articulate with your opinion, however I have to agree with you. Having served in the military for four years I understand the mindset. Our government is so focused on "military presence", and "power through intimidation" that officials have lost focus on what is important; people.
"Where have all the good people gone?"(Jack Jhonson)Why can't we, as a world leader show that we can help instead of destroy. I admit I haven't got the solution to our condition as a whole, but why more weapons?????
First to xenophon, what do you think that our enemies would do to us if they won? Do you think that they would just say that they came here to free us? NO. For the most part right now, our enemies are the extremist Muslims that want to blow us up, or ruthless dictators like Kim Jung Il of N. Korea. I think, however, that the gap between them and our next closest enemies is closing. Who is our next closest enemy? The bleeding heart liberals like boka, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore, or any other spineless wimp who says that we need to stop funding our soldiers and equipping them adequately to fight the wars on the Terrorist's front doorstep. If not there, where else would they go? Some poor neutral country? No. They would choose to come to the United States, and deal us multiple blows to our nation that would serve to cause panic, fear, death,and disruption. 9/11 was bad enough. Let me share with you a quote "Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Put all that we can afford to in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the rest of the Middle East. We need more friendly nations there, than anywhere else. This issue is to me, just as important, if not, more so than the economy. So yeah, great idea, stop making the guns. For your information those guns are protecting your rights. On a side note, thank you for at least saying that you don't have a solution yourself. Leave that to the government that we have. Oh Wait. The younger crowed voted in the "Cool President" I liked Bush better. The last really good president that we had was Ronald Reagan, and the only truly effective Democrats were FDR and Truman. Not much I can do about it though. Seriously though, thanks.
TO Boka: REALLY? God you are a dumbass. Move somewhere where that kind of bullshit is appreciated. Bringing Hitler and the Nazis into any arguement other than one focused on WWII or the Holocaust shows that A: You should have used that free public K-12 education that you received (assuming you were born / raised in the US) and B: That your argument is completely void and useless.
To Boka: I must say I have to disagree with you that the military is like Nazi German. (especialy because I am german asswhole) But we must face that the human race was ultimatly built to be destroyed.... But by what? Is always the first question that comes to mid. OURSELVES. it is in human nature to kill our own race just because of one or two Features. So, what im trying to say is yea we dont need new weapons but, if the whole world was in peace that would throw the laws of chaos away.... and humanity would be bored with itself. Am, I being clear at all?
Boka you're an idiot. There's not much else to say about that. Take your stupid hippie crap over to Afghanistan and Iraq and preach it to them- I'm sure you'll get along just fine with the radical movement.....oops, you're just another silly infadel. BOOM - dead. You really think they'll just stop shooting at us because we stop shooting at them?
Xenophon75, while I respect you're opinion I must respectfully disagree. I am all for the peace efforts, but I'll keep my gun in my back pocket just in case. You can't really trust people who blow up their own neighbors for their religious beliefs when the victims are of the same religion. I would like to be able to not spend all of our money on weapons, but I want to have my ass covered first before I go getting all charity-like. Btw, thanks for your service to us all.
In terms of the bird, a work horse is a work horse. If it can be realized for a reasonable price, then go for it. If not, ditch it. Why spend an extra however-many-million to go 17 mph faster? Are you really going to outrun a bullet or a SAM with 17 mph faster? Maybe its just me but I think that money can be a little better spent on other things. I work in private aviation. It would make you sick to see what kind of money is thrown out for little 'upgrades'. I'll take a more clear stance on it when I see the numbers.
Wow, First off all of you responding to Boka...Interesting conversation. Secondly the U.S military is nothing like nazi Germany. Sure we do have military presnce in other countries, and for what? We help keep those countries in check so we don't have to deal with Another Nazi dilema. WE arnet in other countries to exile and murder helpless people because it is an easy fix for an economic power, a way for someone to try and gain a social power, we are there to protect and defend to prevent killing and war. Third, and my final point. The Black hawk wasn't created as a "killing machine" It has been made to try and move our troops safely and quickly. I don't know about you but I see no harm in it.
Boka and neopinion u gay guys r dumber than peter griffin
yeah i said it
I do believe the oldschool CH-47 can still outrun the H-60. I have worked on the latest and greatest H-60's in the U.S. Navy with the full digital cockpits, but we do not use the fly by wire systems. I do not think that is particularly safe in a helicopter, and IF they do plan on making this a long term system in the aircraft, they should have the normal cables and tubes still on the aircraft as backup, without them that would be absolutely stupid. Sure it sounds cool, looks cool and probably will be a joy to fly, but the moment one of the flight control computers, or amps that control the fly by wire system go to shit, or get shot, that helicopter is not recovering... How is the pilot going to auto rotate when the system goes to crap without cables and tubes like in the normal H-60 helicopter platform??
To Boka --
I'm positive the H-60 platform has saved more lives, and rescued more people than killed people, by a longshot.
Why would there be Nomex in the rotor blades? That doesn't make sense... How is Nomex like Kevlar?
Vukko, The author left out what specific type of kevlar. Para-Aramid Kevlar, which is used as a fire proof lining. The Nomex provides a better fire resistance within the honey comb structure of the Helicopters blades. The honey comb if you don't know is within the blades structure. The honeycomb is used to reduce weight, while still keeping structural intergrity. I hope this helped.
Hey boka i totally agree with Delta777 and all the other itellegent people who all agree your dumbass.how can you live in america and have such an asinine comment,and if you claim to be an american well truth is your a disgrace to all the american people who actually love their country and are proud to be an american.i honestly cant stand people like you.a complete moron.
I worked on the UH-60 for 6 years and we never had one so much as have a leak, but as for the record of the 60 crashing it's mostly due to the people behind the stick not the bird. I would also like to see you get a CH-47 down and back up in one piece on a hot LZ, that is the main function of the 60 not to fly around brass, but to get people out of the bad situations or into them depending on your job, or med evac when they are injured.
Here's a hotlink to a great video produced by SSgt Tom Kennedy about new UH-60s which have arrived for duty in Afghanistan. If interested in higher-rez, anyone can register for an account and download a better version of this or any other video from this site.
New UH-60 variant:
Lmao. I always get a kick reading how super pissed people get at your run-of-the-mill morons. Personally I don't think his comment is worth spending much time on. He's just another idiot. My grandpa said, "You can swing a dead cat without hitting 10 idiots." And I'm like "Grandpa, only an idiot would swing a dead cat." He thought that was funny. BUT!
I'm proud that the military is providing more updated vehicles and weaponry. These benefits are for the troops. I have family serving in the military and I'm glad they are more protected by advancing technology. I support the troops. I don't always agree with or support the motives of the government sending our troops where their interests lie, but I support the men and women who are doing their duties and trying their best to protect our freedoms.
That was supposed to be "You CAN'T swing a dead cat without hitting 10 idiots." ... lol
it's a new toy for companies ,like rockefeller owns, to invade countries and kill people. they use usa army and technologies to reach petrol and other prosperities. we know about their "one world government" plan. but soon every one will know about their plan and we will kick them out of our life although they conrtol media, police departments and armies. this technology is worthless as long as it is not used for wealth of every people on earth. this is just another killing machine. remember your humanity and adore this type of killing machines.
every one who disagrees that usa is the biggest terrorist in the world! why do you think poor countries aim usa? why they are poor? do not tell me they deserve it. you also know that usa and its allies are rich by spoiling that countries. how can a country with diamond reserves can be poor? because usa and its allies have diamond mines under control. how? by invading that country or just by "divide and rule" politics.
i live in Turkiye and i know that usa supports our government which is Muslim. i hate our government because they sold all of our public investments. why did they sell it? because IMF wanted us to do so. why IMF wanted us to sell our investments? to give Turkiye more loan. why do they want to give more loan? to make the country debtful. why do they want to make Turkiye debtful? because with the debts they can show the government which will save us from debts as unsuccesful. so this goes on like this. we elect a nationalist government and media starts criticizing it. and media is controlled by usa. this is the way that usa tries to rule whole world.
if usa was a country respectful to the others no one would attack on them. but usa attacked every country under the name of "democrising, killing terrorists, vanishing communism etc." usa is in America continent. but it attacks on vietnam in asia, afghanistan in asia, iraq in arabia... what was vietnameses fault? where is iraq's secret bombs? where is bin laden?
did you know that iraq is selling petrol cheaper? did you know that hashish production in afghanistan hit the top after usa invaded there? did you know shiah-sunni clash has started in iraq after usa attacked there?
do you know thousands of people die in civil wars in countries every day? do you know what is divide-rule?
i think all of you forgot your humanity. you know nothing more than things shown on you on TV's. how can you stand on thousands of people dying? do you want to die just because another country wants to be rich? do you want to die of starving?
and the most important thing. do you know that 9/11 was made by usa, just like saddam had no secret weapon? look at the world map. you will see that afghanistan is in east and iraq is in west of iran. and iran is a threat to usa because they have cheap petrol. actually it is not usa who decides this. it is companies like exxon who use usa as a puppet to be rich, to rule the world. and you are puppet's puppets who supports this. you are the ones who will go to hell, just because you associate this mass murder..
hey cacagokce or whatever the hell your name is, shut up! the united states has been fighting long and hard so that third world countries could have a choice and a say in international relations! if you would pick up a history text book you would learn that we are doing a much finer job being a world leader than anyone in the past! be happy you even have the right to scream that utter bullshit, i know I'm happy I have the right to berate you with expletives until you scream to your mom because the internet proved you are an asshole! *whew*
and don't even get me started on the Rockefeller company. that company has done more for humanity than bitchy little retards like you will ever come close to achieving!
also countries would attack a nation that respects people, do you actually think that they wouldn't? I'm not sure if your a fucktard or just plain ignorant!
but finally to say that i've forgotten my humanity is like your taking a piss on me, i don't like death and destruction, i hate that our military has to go out and slap some idiots around every few years, hell if there was a way for peace to thrive i would support it whole heartily, but as it stands right now i would rather see open conflict then to be blinded by a false sense of peace!
wow that was cathartic, anyways concerning the helicopter, they are all nice improvements, the world is changing everyday and it's freakin nice to know that our military is doing something to keep up and/or stay ahead.
Thanks boka for equating my desire to serve my country and keep you safe with Hitler's desire to eradicate people based on their race. Last time I checked we were fighting for everyone's freedom (religious, intellectual, political, personal).
Anything that upgrades a piece of war-fighting material means that those of us who serve are more likely to accomplish our mission and come home to our families at the end of the day. I'm happy about the Black Hawk upgrade (though I'm a grunt, not a flyboy).
Sounds like a plan to me; the military needs to update it's machinery...especially their aircrafts.