The UH-60A and UH-60L Black Hawk are the US Army and US Air Force's primary utility helicopter. The UH-60A first went into service in 1978, In 1989, the UH-60L, with a 25% more powerful powerplant was introduced.
In its primary mission is of troop transport, them UH-60 can deliver up to 11 fully-laden troops onto the battlefield. Since its introduction, the UH-60 has been deployed in operations in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Whilst some Black Hawks are unamred, the majority, will, when deployed in theatre, be armed with 2 pintle-mounted machine guns. The starboard/port gun windows are usually fitted with M60 or M240D 7.62mm or M2 .50 cal machine guns.
With it's more powerful engines, the UH-60L can accomodate a ESSS (External Stores Support System). The ESSS consists of 4 removable pylons that can hold a mixture of external fuel tanks (up to 4, extending the Black Hawk's range to 1,150 nautical miles), 16 laser-guided AGM-114 Hellfire missiles or a mix of up to 10,000lb of other missiles, rockets or cannon pods.
THe US Army's fleet of UH-60A/L Black Hawks are due for a major upgrade to UH-60M standards. The UH-60M will feature an improved powerplant, digital cockpits, advanced software for flight and mission management and navigation.