Warplanes: Battlehawks Confront Iran


February 25, 2011: The UAE (United Arab Emirates) is converting 23 of its 40 UH-60 Black Hawk transports into AH-60 Battlehawk gunships. This will cost about $12 million per helicopter (including training, parts and support.) Arming UH-60s is nothing new. There have long been "weapons packages" for the Black Hawk. There is also the ESSS (External Stores Support System) available, which gives the UH-60 two stubby wings (like the AH-64 has), each with two hard points (for Hellfire missiles, rockets or machine-guns). The ESSS are wired to connect to the UH-60 cockpit, and weapons controls that can be installed there. These AH-60s are roughly equal to an early model AH-64, when armed with Hellfire missiles and machine-guns (7.62mm or 12.7mm multiple barrel rotary weapons), as well as more sensors.

With this conversion, the UAE gets another 23 gunships in a hurry. Existing UH-60 pilots are being trained to do what they have to do in an AH-60.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close