The story of the UH-60P Black Hawk helicopter for the Republic of Korea began in 1990 with a license agreement between Korean Air and Sikorsky Aircraft. Over the next nine years, Korean Air produced in Korea 124 of the 131 aircraft for the Republic of Korea Army. Together, the team equipped Korean industry with the expertise and technology needed for Korea to build, maintain, adapt and upgrade the UH-60P.
Now, with another 20 years left in the fleet’s service life, it’s time for the Republic of Korea to modernize the world’s most proven, multirole military helicopter for future operations. Two decades is merely the half-life of a Black Hawk helicopter – a military design known for its reliability and ease of maintenance. By selecting OEM upgrades, the Republic of Korea Army can easily operate the UH-60P fleet for another 20 years of service life.
Modernization — not a fleet replacement — is the easiest and most cost-effective approach for the Republic of Korea.
A UH-60P hovers above the ground. Photo: S.J. Lee.
The UH-60P is the Republic of Korea’s own version of the world’s most proven and reliable military utility helicopter.
The UH-60P is among more than 570 Hawks of all types in the Asia region and 4,000 Hawk aircraft of all variants across more than 30 countries. Widespread operation of Black Hawk aircraft ensures the Republic of Korea will benefit from an existing and healthy global supply chain for decades to come. In fact, the U.S. military intends to operate its Hawks into the 2070s.
UH-60P helicopters can easily operate another 5,000 hours, or 20 years.
With 50 percent of the service life still available to the UH-60P fleet, Korea will save significant funds by modernizing its existing aircraft with a digital backbone. The result will be a modern Black Hawk aircraft that will operate for a full 35-40 years, as do most other Black Hawk fleets around the world.
The UH-60P is designed to military spec standards for many mission types.
Korean pilots and maintainers are accustomed to the UH-60P aircraft’s broad mission versatility, high flight reliability, and ease of maintenance. That’s because the Black Hawk helicopter is built to rigorous U.S. Military standards by design, which means it’s also maintainable in the field. As a durable military aircraft, the Black Hawk performs with consistent success on the battlefield, during civil emergencies and in a multitude of roles. The switch to an all-new helicopter would involve a significant amount of unnecessary training, retooling and expense.
No other utility aircraft can perform so many missions equally well.
Upgrading the UH-60P fleet with 21 st century avionics will enable the Army to add modern mission equipment and capabilities to the platform. The Black Hawk aircraft can be armed with guns, rockets and missiles, perform combat assault, casualty evacuation, border patrol and surveillance, combat search and rescue, aerial firefighting and other combat support roles.
In a military or civil operations, the Black Hawk gives operators 4,354 kg (9,600 lbs.) of useful load – more than 900 kg more than its Korean competitor – and the ability to carry a squad of 11 fully equipped troops.
Sikorsky will support the Korean prime contractor.
The Sikorsky team will be honored to provide engineering and mission systems knowledge and support to the Korean defense contractor and the Korean industry team that will be chosen to modernize the UH-60P fleet. Sikorsky has extensive experience working with prime contractor companies around the world.
The UH-60P is a perfect bridge to Future Vertical Lift.
Sikorsky is developing variants of its next generation X2™ helicopter technology for flight test by the U.S. military in 2023, and entry into service by 2030. It is projected that Future Vertical Lift aircraft will not be available to the international market until at least 2040. UH-60P aircraft upgraded with new mission systems and avionics can easily bridge this time gap to the next-generation fleet.
Why Choose 블랙 호크 for Korea, by Korea?
Demonstrated Success of Local UH-60P Support
In the 1990s, Sikorsky was honored to work alongside a Korean prime contractor and Korean industry to build and deliver the Korean Army’s UH-60P Black Hawk fleet. This effort transferred knowledge to Korean industry, and generated jobs in Korea. If chosen for the modernization effort, Sikorsky – a Lockheed Martin Company – will again proudly support the Korean prime contractor and Korean industry.
Builds Digital Backbone for Future Vertical Lift
Modernization will give the UH-60P fleet a digital and open architecture software backbone, enabling Korean technology providers to quickly and affordably add future technologies to the aircraft. When in place, this digital backbone will speed the transition to a Future Vertical Lift (FVL) helicopter fleet. Sikorsky has been down-selected by the U.S. Army as a potential FVL provider with the RAIDER and SB>1 Defiant next-generation aircraft – putting the Korean team in a unique position to bridge the gap with similar technologies.