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military helicopters

MH-60K Black Hawk

mh-60k black hawk
US Army MH-60K Black Hawk

The advanced MH-60K are highly specialized helicopters designed for special operations support missions and are operated by the elite 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR).

MH-60s flown by SOAR operators carried Delta Force and Ranger troops into action in Mogadishu as part of Operation Gothic Serpent, the US attempt to arrest Somali warlord General Mohamed Farrah Aidid. 2 MH-60s were shot down by ground fire in events depicted in the 2001 film, Black Hawk Down.

The MH-60K is based around the UH-60a Black Hawk the US Army's main utility helicopter. The MH-60K boasts more powerful engines and a suite of electronic countermeasures and navigational aids. As iits role demands, the MH-60K carries a terrain-following radar to enable extremely low-level flying levels in all weathers and at night and a set of wire cutting blades are fitted to the fuselage. a forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) sensor further enables all-weather/day/night operation. The MH-60K features advanced night-vision-compatible cockpits with Multi-Function Displays (MFDs).

MH-60Ks feature provision for various pintle-mounted door guns, the most common being 2xM134 7.62mm miniguns, one each side, although .50 cal machine guns or M240D 7.62mm belt-fed machine guns may also be mounted.

To enable rapid deployment around the globe, the MH-60K features folding components and can be transported by air or stowed aboard aircraft carriers. The helicopter's range ca be extended with the fitting of 2x230 gallon external fuel tanks. Both these external tanks and the MH-60K's main tanks can be replenished via the extendable air-to-air refueling probe.

MH-60K Specifications

mh-60k radar and flir
The MH-60K is packed with specialized avionics including an APQ-174 terrain-following radar and a Raytheon AAQ-16 FLIR.
Crew 4 - Pilot, Co-pilot & 2 crew-chiefs/door-gunners
Engines 2 Two General Electric T700-GE-701C engines
Dimensions L - 17.1m
W (rotorspan) - 14.1m
H - 4.4m
Weights 6,114 kg (empty)
9,967 kg (max loadout)
Max Speed 296 kph
Range 964 km with 2x 1703-litre external fuel tanks
Armament 2 gun ports (port/starboard) :
7.62mm miniguns and/or.50 machine guns
Avionics AN/AAQ-16 FLIR
AN/APQ-174B Terrain Following Radar
AN/ARN-148 Omega/VLF navigation
M-130 chaff/flare dispensers
AN/ALQ-144 IR jammer
Radar / Laser warning receivers
KG-10 map display unit

gau-16/a machine gun mounted in a hh-60g pavehawk gun port.
The MH-60K's extendable fuel-probe allows the helicopter to refuel from airborne tanker aircraft..
special forces extraction
When operating from aircraft carriers, the MH-60K's rotors can be folded to save space.
  • all-weather capability
  • flare launchers on each side of the fuselage
  • HIRSS infra-red suppressor fitted to each engine exhaust
  • radar warning receivers and chaff-launchers to protect against radar-homing threats
  • cockpit compatible with night vision goggles (NVGs)
  • external 230 gallon fuel tanks extend max range

MH-60K Black Hawk from the 160th SOAR fitted with 2x230 gallon external fuel tanks.
Photo Courtesy US Army

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