In 1968, the US Army began developing a new helicopter (UTTAS: Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System) that would replace the UH-1 helicopters developed by Bell in the 1950s and carry out multi-functional tactical airlift operations. Under the conditions that this craft must be capable of airlifting 11 fully armed soldiers, even with its two engines and 3 crew members, and be designed to carry out tasks such as airborne assaults and transporting wounded soldiers even in the most desperate combat situations, the American company Sikorsky began developing this helicopter. Test crafts successfully completed the first flight in October 1974, and soon after this 2 test helicopters were completed, one of which was delivered to the US army. After 650 hours of flight time, including 900 flights and 1,700 takeoffs and touchdowns, the UH-60A Black Hawk was finally selected as the UTTAS model in December 1976.
The UH-60 helicopter was remodeled into many types according to the operating purpose. There are many types including the HH-60, which conducts rescue and extraction operations for the US air force, the MH-60K built for US army special forces, the SH-60, which replaced the SH-3H of the US navy, and the multi-functional S-70, which was built for military, export, and private purposes.
The first production type, the A type, was equipped with 2 T700-GE-700 turboshaft engines, which had a thrust power of 1,560 horsepower, and later models such as the UH-60L/M changed engines to the 1,860-horsepower T700-GE-701. The UH-60 has a maximum speed of 296 km/h (160 kts), a cruising radius of 2,220 km, and a tactical activity range of 600 km. The UH-60 Black Hawk, which is capable of transporting 11 fully armed soldiers along with its 3 crew members, can transport 3,630 kg of cargo, including a 105-mm howitzer, and is armed with a M60 machine gun, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and other weapons, and is also equipped with an ALQ-144 IRCM (Infrared Counter Measures) for self defense, an XM130 Chaff sprinkler, an APR-39(V)1 radar signal receiver, an APN-209(V)2 radar altimeter as navigation equipment, and an ASN-43 gyro compass. For all-round flight capabilities it possesses a Main/Tail Rotor De-icing System and, of course, an Engine Anti-icing System.
At the moment, the US army has cancelled the multi-functional helicopter development part of their helicopter modernization plan, and has decided to continue producing the UH-60. About 2,000 UH-60 class helicopters have been produced and are operated by the US army, navy, air force, marines and used by over 20 other countries including Australia, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan and Europe. This helicopter carried out military force transport operations as part of various small and large operations during the Gulf War.