The UH-60L Blackhawk represents an upgrade to the original UH-60A Blackhawk, which entered service with the US Army in 1978. Production of the UH-60L began in 1989 with the conversion of existing UH-60A aircraft to the "L" standard as well as the production of new airframes. The First UH-60L was delivered in November of 1989. Over 600 have been delivered since 2006, and production is expected to continue until the UH-60L line is replaced by new production UH-60M aircraft.
Airframe and general capabilities
Externally, the UH-60L is very similar to the UH-60A. Major improvements include the incorporation of a hover IR suppression system (HIRSS) that is designed to cool engine exhaust gasses while hovering and in forward flight. As with the UH-60A, the "L" variant is ESSS capable and rated for all of the same weapon systems. The external cargo hook limit has been improved on the UH-60L, which has a maximum lift rating of 9,000 pounds. Internal troop carrying capacity remains unchanged at 11 fully loaded, 14 high-density, and 20 lightly equipped.
The UH-60L is equipped with two General Electric T700-GE-401C turboshaft engines, each rated to 1,880 shaft horsepower. The "L" model retains the same internal fuel arrangements as in the "A" model.
The empty weight of the UH-60L is 11, pounds, with an internal cargo capacity of 2,640 pounds. The mission take off weight is 17,706 pounds, while the maximum take off weight is 24,500 pounds. The external cargo carrying capacity (cargo hook) is 9,000 pounds.
The maximum (do not exceed) speed of the UH-60L, at mission weight, is 195 knots (224 miles per hour) while the maximum level speed is 160 knots (182 miles per hour.) The cruising speed is 139 knots (160 miles per hour) and the single engine cruise speed is 105 knots (121 miles per hour.)
The service ceiling is 19,150 feet (5,835m) and the maximum hover ceiling (out of ground effect) is 7,650 feet (2,330m.)
Maximum range of the UH-60L on internal fuel and at maximum take-off weight is 319 nautical miles (368 statute miles.) The maximum range with two 230 ESSS-mounted external tanks is 880 nautical miles (1,012 statute miles) and with two 230 gallon and two 450 gallon tanks is 1,200 nautical miles (1,381 statute miles.)
The UH-60L Retains the same communications capabilities as the "A" model with the exception that the cockpit has been redesigned using the advanced 'glass cockpit' digital instrument design being incorporated into all current Blackhawk variants. The 'glass cockpit' replaces analog instruments with digital ones, including several multi-function displays (MFD), improves the night vision compatibility of the cockpit (ANVIS 7/HUD), a digital automated flight computer system, and an Electronic Flight Information System (EFIS.)
As with the UH-60A, the UH-60L does not carry dedicated armament, but is equipped with the same pintle arrangement as the ?A? model. These pintles are capable of accepting a variety of weapons, to include the M-60 GP 7.62mm machine gun, the M-240 7.62mm machine gun, the .50 caliber GECAL machine gun, as well as the General Electric M134 7.62mm 6-barreled minigun. Utilizing the ESSS system, the UH-60L can equip up to 16 Hellfire missiles, as well as 2.75" FFAR (folding fin aerial rocket) rocket pods, FIM-92 Stinger anti-air missiles, as well as aerial mine delivery systems, such as the volcano and the M56 mine delivery system.