Warplanes: The Arab Cure For Iranian Swarms


April 17, 2015: In the Persian Gulf, UH-60 Black Hawk transport helicopters are being turned into gunships. The UAE (United Arab Emirates) has over 60 American UH-60Ms and in upgrading many of them to the “Battlehawk” standard. This includes defensive electronic warfare systems including laser and radar warning sensors as well as defenses against anti-aircraft missiles. The Battlehawk upgrade adds Hellfire and 70mm (2.75 inch) laser guided rocket launchers and a fire control system with a laser designator. Gun systems consist of either the three barrel 12.7mm GAU-19 Gatling gun or the GAU-2/M-134 six barrel 7.62mm minigun. These are fired out the door.

The Battlehawk has two stub wing each with two hardpoints. Each hardpoint can carry a launcher with four Hellfire missiles or one with 19 70mm laser guided missiles. The 13.6 kg (30 pound) guided 70mm rockets have a 2.7 kg (six pound) warhead and a range of about six kilometers when fired from the air. The heavier (50 kg) Hellfire has a range of eight kilometers and a larger warhead. The UAE sees the Battlehawk well suited for fighting an Iranian invasion, either many small missile boats or swarms of armored vehicles.




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