Warplanes: Turks Build A Better Black Hawk

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May 4, 2011: Turkey has selected the American Sikorsky firm to develop and built 109 military helicopters based on the UH-60 Black Hawk military transport helicopter. The Turkish military helicopter will be based on the Sikorsky T-70i, the civilian version that was militarized as the UH-60, HH-60, MH-60 and so on. The Turkish model will probably be similar to the U.S. UH-60M. If the first 109 are successful, up to 500 more may be built over the next decade.

Five years ago, the U.S. Army introduced the "M" model, which featured several improvements. These included new rotor blades (more reliable, and provide 227 kg/500 pounds of additional lift), an all electronic cockpit (putting all needed information on four full-color displays), an improved autopilot, improved flight controls (making flying easier, especially in stressful situations), a stronger fuselage, more efficient navigation system, better infrared suppression (making it harder for heat seeking missiles to hit), and more powerful engines. Before the M model, the last major upgrade of the Black Hawk was in the late 1980s, when the UH-60L was introduced. The M version, which cost about six million dollars each, will make the UH-60 viable into the 2020s.

The 11 ton UH-60M can carry 14 troops, or 1.1 tons of cargo internally, or four tons slung underneath. Cruise speed is 278 kilometers an hour. Max endurance is two hours, although most sorties last 90 minutes or less. Max altitude is 5,790 meters (19,000 feet).

 

 


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