December 15, 2011:
Brunei (an oil rich island monarchy next to Indonesia) is buying twelve American S-70i helicopters. This is the export version of the U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk transport helicopter. Brunei needed replacements for its older Bell 212 and BO105 helicopters. These S-70i helicopters will be delivered between 2013 and 2015.
All UH-60s are militarized versions (UH-60, HH-60, MH-60) of the Sikorsky S-70, a 1970s design that won the competition to replace the older UH-1 "Huey". The army currently has about 2,000 UH-60s and is upgrading the force with the new "M" model. So far, about 2,700 UH-60s have been built.
The UH-60 was introduced in 1979. Five years ago, the U.S. Army introduced the "M" model which featured several improvements. These included new rotor blades (more reliable, and provide 227 kg/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. Before the M model, the last major upgrade had been in the late 1980s with the UH-60L. The M version, which cost about $50 million each fully equipped, will make the UH-60 viable into the 2020s.
The 11 ton UH-60M can carry 14 troops, or 1.1 tons of cargo internally, or four tons slung underneath. Cruise speed is 278 kilometers an hour. Max endurance is two hours, although most sorties last 90 minutes or less. Max altitude is 5,790 meters (19,000 feet).