Max Gross Weight: 20,250 lbs
Cruise Speed: 165 mph
Range: 373 miles
Crew: 2 pilots, 1 crew chief
Armament: Two 7.62 mm machine-guns
Payload: 2640 lbs (or 11 combat troops)
*Replacing the UH-1 Huey, the workhorse of Army airpower, was a difficult task but the UH-60 Blackhawk has certainly measured up well. With its ability to carry a full squad of eleven men, or its ability to carry a 105 mm howitzer, the UH-60 plays an important role in any mobile force. The Blackhawk is used service-wide, from a Navy version called the "Sea Hawk" to a special VIP version called Marine 1, a VH-60 used by President Bush when he needs a helicopter outside Washington, D.C. The Blackhawk is airmobile itself as it can easily fit inside U.S. cargo aircraft for rapid deployment to any area of the world.
Iraq's main transport helicopter is the Soviet-made MI-8 HIP which carries upto 24 troops or nearly 9,00 lbs. This aircraft has been in service since the 1960's and is combat proven in Afghanistan and many other Third World nations.
Actions in Desert Storm--
Blackhawks performed well in Operation Desert Storm transporting troops to and from front line units along with providing emergency medical evacuation. The Blackhawk experienced many of the same problems that other helicopters did in Operation Desert Storm, such as sand and surface heat, yet came out with minimal losses.
Several variants of the Blackhawk saw service in the Gulf. The Navy used the SH-60 Seahawk during its patrols for enemy shipping. Special forces' units used the MH-60 for rescue and special operations missions. Even the President used his VH-60 when he visited the troops in the Gulf for Thanksgiving. Blackhawks took part in the 300helicopter raid conducted by the 101st Airborne during the first day of the ground war. Although there were a few reported crashed of the Blackhawk during the crisis, given the incredibly poor flying conditions, allied commanders should be pleased with the performance of these helicopters. By comparison, most Iraqi helicopters never got off the ground, given the air superiority achieved by the Air Force.
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