Sikorsky delivered its 5,000th “Hawk” variant helicopter on January 20th 2023, a U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk. The iconic aircraft will continue to support medium-lift requirements for the U.S. military and international operators for decades into the future.
“Sikorsky, as a company, has been forged by the Black Hawk,” said Sikorsky President Paul Lemmo. “The Black Hawk and its variants deliver when reliability and performance are non-negotiable. Hawk aircraft continue to demonstrate their versatility and readiness with the latest technological advancements and ongoing U.S. and global investment in the aircraft.”
The Black Hawk platform and its derivatives include the MH-60R/S maritime operations helicopters, MH-60T multi-mission helicopters, HH-60W rescue helicopters, and internationally built S-70 Black Hawks, including the baseline FIREHAWK, which have all proven their versatility and capability across a spectrum of challenging mission sets.
Sikorsky’s highly skilled and experienced workforce manufactures the latest generation of Hawk aircraft built in Stratford. There is high international demand for the Sikorsky S-70 Black Hawk, manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s PZL Mielec facility in Poland. More than 35 international customers operate the Black Hawk thanks to its global support network and continued modernization.
The U.S. Army, the largest Black Hawk operator, noted the key role the aircraft continues to fulfill during military and civil operations worldwide, in addition to its significant contribution towards Joint All Domain Operations.
In February 2022, Lockheed Martin flew its first uninhabited Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) Sikorsky UH-60A/S-70 Black Hawk testbed helicopter powered by Sikorsky’s MATRIX™ autonomy technology in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
“We are committed to all H-60 and S-70 operators and look forward to enduring partnerships on the Hawk program in the years to come,” added Nathalie Previte, vice president of Army and Air Force Systems at Sikorsky. “It remains our priority to fulfill our customers’ requirements and meet the needs of current and future operational units. With unmatched versatility and global interoperability, Hawk aircraft continue to advance 21st-century security.”
The Sikorsky S-70i Firehawk is a variant of the S-70 Black Hawk helicopter, which was first developed by Sikorsky Aircraft in the 1970s. The S-70i Firehawk is specifically designed for use as a firefighting and emergency response aircraft. It features a number of modifications and upgrades that make it well-suited for these tasks, including the ability to carry up to 2,650 gallons of water or fire retardant and the ability to refill its tanks in as little as 20 seconds.
The first S-70i Firehawk was delivered to the Los Angeles County Fire Department in 2015 and has since been used by many other fire departments and emergency response organizations worldwide. The aircraft is also available for commercial use, with customers including aviation companies and government agencies.
In recent years, the S-70i Firehawk has gained recognition for its ability to provide rapid fire suppression and support to first responders in difficult-to-reach areas, which has proven to be an effective tool in fighting wildland fires and other natural disasters.
In 2020, the S-70i Firehawk was updated with a new digital cockpit, which includes a number of advanced features, such as a glass cockpit display and a digital automatic flight control system. The update aimed to improve the helicopter’s capabilities and make it easier for pilots to operate as single-pilot IFR capable aircraft.