US Army Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore has been credited with developing the tactic of sending troops into the battlefield using Helicopters and then quickly transporting soldiers back to safety when the fight was over. Moore used Huey helicopters and his role in the first major battle of the Vietnam War at Ia Drang was the basis for the book and movie "We were soldiers" The United States Army wanted a more advanced helicopter that could adapt to different configurations, be more powerful but quieter and more manoeuvrable than the Huey. From this desire the Black Hawk helicopter evolved.
American Army helicopters are named after a Native American First Nation tribe. The UH-60A was named after the Black Hawk. UH stands for utility helicopter. In 1978 the UH-60A Black Hawk Helicopter entered service. The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk uses the same T700 engines as other US Military helicopters like the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter to make maintenance and logistics less complicated.
The Black Hawk UH60 Helicopter has been used for many roles including medical evacuation, mine laying, electronic warfare, troop transportation, recon, supply movement and air assault. It has a long sleek design so that it can fit inside a C130 Hercules for quick redeployment to battle zones. It can transport a 105mm M102 howitzer artillery piece with 30 rounds and four man gun crew. It has the capacity to carry eleven combat troops and all their gear to the battle zone.
Each has a small wing each side to carry armaments or extra fuel tanks on two pylons. It can carry 70 mm (2.75 in) Hydra 70 rockets, AGM-114 Hellfire laser guided missiles, 7.62 mm (0.30 in), 20 mm (0.787 in), or 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 gunpods. Inside the fuselage door the Black Hawk can be fitted out to carry 2x 7.62 mm (0.30 in) M240H machine guns or 2x 7.62 mm (0.30 in) M134 minigun or 2x .50 in (12.7 mm) GAU-19 gatling guns. It has a maximum speed of 183 mph, (295 km/h) with a cruise speed of 173 mph, (278 km/h)
It has seen combat service in Grenada, Panama , Southwest Asia, Somalia , Haiti , Bosnia , Afghanistan and Iraq. There have been a number of films featuring Black Hawk helicopters. The most famous Hollywood film is of course "Black Hawk Down"
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation was founded in 1925 by aircraft engineer Igor Sikorsky, a Kiev-born American immigrant. It is an American company based in Stanford Connecticut though they now have bases all over the US.