Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk Series
The Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk Series has been in service with the US armed forces since 1979. It's twin-engined power, versatility, and strength have made it a natural for special operations missions. In fact, every US service that operates the Blackhawk has a version that is dedicated, at least in part, to the support of special operations troops. The US Army operates the MH-60K and MH-60L, the US Air Force has the MH-60G Pavehawk, and the US Navy has the HH-60H Seahawk.
In the late 1980s, a new version, called the MH-60L was introduced. It was to be the "low end" of a system; the high end being the then-unproduced MH-60K. The MH-60L was only about halfway through it's operational evaluation when Iraq invaded Kuwait. The upgrade process was accelerated and several of the MH-60L models were able to serve in Desert Shield and Storm alongside the older MH-60A models.
MH-60Ls received upgraded electronics such as a color weather radar, and the capability to carry the Hellfire missile. Kevlar ballistic armor has been added for increased crew protection. A new folding tail and stabilator were added to ease shipboard use. At least ten are slated to receive in-flight refueling probes to further increase their range. There is an armed sub-varient known as the AH-60L DAP (
Defensive Armed Penetrator
The MH-60K is the current top-of-the-line SOA medium helicopter. It was designed with much input from actual 160th pilots. The MH-60K features a fully integrated NVG compatible glass cockpit. It can carry twelve soldiers over 750 miles without refueling. A mission management system is also part of the aircraft's equipment. Electronic sensors and counter measures have also been added and improved to increase the aircraft's effectiveness and ability to survive the battlefield.