The UH-60M Black Hawk is currently the most advanced UH-60/S-70 model, whose variants are in service with the US Army and over 20 other countries around the world. To date, UH-60M customers include the USA, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates, plus a request from Egypt. Unlike global competitors such as Russia’s Mi-8/17 series, however, the UH-60′s operational armament is generally limited to door guns. That may be about to change, thanks to a UAE initiative.
Colombia currently flies the armed S-70 “Arpia III”, and Sikorsky has worked on armed “AH-60″ versions as an offering in some foreign competitions, but efforts to sell the concept in Australia and elsewhere were less successful. Nevertheless, Sikorsky executives see considerable potential for multi-role helicopters and conversion kits, in an era of global insurgencies, tight budgets, and limited helicopter numbers. Now, the UAE has become their launch customer. What is Sikorsky’s Battlehawk, and what are their plans?