August 11, 2006:
The U.S. Army received it's first UH-60M Black Hawk. This "M" mmodel is the new standard for the UH-60. The UH-60M features several improvements, including new rotor blades (more reliable, and provide 500 pounds of additional lift), an all electronic cockpit ( putting all needed information on four full-color displays), an improved autopilot, improved flight controls (making flying easier, especially in stressful situations), a stronger fuselage, more efficient navigation system, better infrared suppression (making it harder for heat seeking missiles to hit), and more powerful engines.
The last major upgrade of the Black Hawk was in the late 1980s, when the UH-60L was introduced. The M version, which will cost about six million dollars each, will make the UH-60 viable into the 2020s. The 11 ton UH-60M will be complemented by two new, smaller, helicopters, the 2.8 ton ARH-70 (a militarized Bell-407, which will most directly replace the elderly OH-58D scout helicopter), while the 3.6 ton UH-145 will supplement the UH-60 for transportation and other jobs.