Battle Hawk Being Offered to the Australian Army
The Battle Hawk, based on the UH-60L, being offered to the Australian Army is a variant of the Black Hawk helicopter for the armed reconnaissance and attack applications.
Sikorsky, February 16, 1999 - AVALON, Australia - The Sikorsky S-70 Battlehawk helicopter -- with a turreted 20mm cannon -- brings true battlefield versatility to the Australian Army's AIR-87 Armed Reconnaissance program.
The Battlehawk being offered to the Australian Army is a variant of the Blackhawk helicopter for the armed reconnaissance and attack applications. It is based on the UH-60L aircraft in service today with the U.S. Army, and incorporates numerous improvements to the UH-60A -- on which Australia's S-70A-9 Army Blackhawk, is based.
Among the most significant improvements is the change from T700-GE-700 engines with 1,560 shp each to T700-GE-701C engines with 1,890 shp each and an uprated 3,400 shp gearbox to handle them. Other improvements also include better electromagnetic and corrosion protection and a 9,000 lb rated cargo hook. With these improvements, the Battlehawk helicopter is able to meet the AIR-87 mission requirements, along with an additional 1,000 to 1,500 lb payload capability for fuel, weapons reload, external load or other payloads for mission flexibility.
It has Blackhawk survivability features that have been battlefield-proven in Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Haiti, Turkey, Bosnia, Colombia and Desert Storm. The Battlehawk helicopter has dash speed and agility capabilities that few dedicated attack helicopters can match and none can exceed.
The major Battlehawk weapons feature is the 20mm GIAT THL 20 turreted gun. Its location under the cabin provides a rugged, simple integration.
The gun can be slaved to the Elbit Systems Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) cueing, or to the Elbit Systems Toplite II Targeting Sensor Line of Sight.
Ammunition is stored in the cabin and fed to the gun through one 90-degree bend, versus up to seven such bends with nose-mounted gun turrets, providing unparalleled accessibility, feed and ease of reload.
Past weapons integration on the Blackhawk using the External Stores/Weapons System (ESWS) have included Hellfire missiles, 2.75-inch Rockets, Stinger Missiles and various gun pods including 7.65 mm, 20mm and 30mm cannon. One current operational configuration has dual 30mm chain guns, dual 7.65mm machine guns and Hellfire missiles and rockets, more than doubling the firepower of existing attack helicopters. The ESWS also can accommodate up to four 230 gallon external fuel pods.
The Elbit Systems MIDASH ( Modular Integrated Display and Sight Helmet) provides highly accurate helmet tracking, flight and weapons symbology for day and night operations. It features state-of-the-art image intensifiers for night pilotage. It is lighter and more ergonomically designed with a larger field of view (FOV) than existing HMD systems. The Elbit Systems Toplite II Targeting Sensor System has FLIR, Daytime TV and laser Designator and Rangefinder for search and weapon designation.
The Battlehawk helicopter has a full "glass" cockpit with Rockwell Collins active matrix color LCD Multifunction Displays and CDUs. They result in a significantly smaller instrument panel with 27 degrees visibility over the nose, 12 degrees more than most attack pilot cockpits. The narrower panel also improves lateral and downward visibility using chin windows nonexistent on current attack helicopters. The HMDs and HOCAS (Hands on Collective and Stick) features of the Battlehawk helicopter enable either pilot or copilot to perform piloting, search, comm or weapons tasks while maintaining "eyes up, hands on."
The Battlehawk helicopter's 400 cubic foot cabin, along with it's performance capabilities, enable it to carry additional munition reloads, thus reducing the need to return to a forward rearming point and dramatically increasing the firepower that it can deliver, a real force multiplier.
With its 9,000 lb cargo hook, it can carry the munitions for several aircraft, essentially bringing along it's own re-arming facility, another real force multiplier.
The cabin also provides significant mission flexibility such as search and rescue or team insertion that dedicated attack helicopters cannot perform.
From a logistics viewpoint, the Battlehawk helicopter approach offers the ADF a significant advantage since it shares a high degree of commonality with the existing S-70A-9 BlackHawk and S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopters already fielded in Australia.
Designated the S-70, Blackhawk variants, including naval derivatives, are serving, or are on order, with the 24 international customers -- Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, People's Republic of China, Spain, Taiwan, The Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey.