Procurement: Taiwan Loads Up On Black Hawks


September 4, 2009: Taiwan is buying sixty American UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters. Fifteen will be outfitted for rescue missions, and will be able to perform military roles as well. Taiwan is getting the civilian version, called the S-70, but these will be equipped for military use.

The 10.6 ton UH-60 can carry 14 troops, or 1.1 tons of cargo internally, or four tons slung underneath. The UH-60 replaced the 4.3 ton, Vietnam era, UH-1 (which could carry 11 troops, and about half the cargo of the UH-60). Since the UH-60 entered service in the 1980s, several newer designs have appeared, like the NH90 and AW149, and provided lots of competition for export sales. But few countries will sell military equipment to Taiwan, because of the threat that China will retaliate economically. So the UH-60 was a lock for this sale. With a crew of 2-3, cruise speed of about 280 kilometers an hour, and endurance of 2.5 hours, the UH-60 is still competitive.


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