Sikorsky has handed over its 5,000th “Hawk” medium-lift utility helicopter with the delivery of a UH-60M Black Hawk to the U.S. Army on Friday. The first production Black Hawk was accepted by the Army in 1978 and entered service the following year. Alongside the U.S. Army, which currently operates more than 2,100 Black Hawks, Sikorsky reports that it has over 35 international customers for the model.
“Sikorsky, as a company, has been forged by the Black Hawk,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “The Black Hawk and its variants deliver when reliability and performance are nonnegotiable. Hawk aircraft continue to demonstrate their versatility and readiness with the latest technological advancements and ongoing U.S. and global investment in the aircraft.”
The Black Hawk can be equipped for missions including combat assault, medevac, aerial firefighting, search and rescue and special operations. In addition, Sikorsky and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conducted a demonstration using an uncrewed “optionally piloted” S-70 Black Hawk last November. As previously reported by AVweb, the Army is moving to replace the model, selecting Bell Textron’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor for its Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA) program.