BLACK HAWK 40th Anniversary


Year after Year.
Battle after Battle.
Save after Save.

In 1978, Sikorsky delivered the first Black Hawk to the U.S. Army. Over the last four decades, the Black Hawk has steadfastly flown in and out of countless combat zones and natural disaster areas to save lives and deliver critical supplies. Now, more than 4,000 Black Hawks are in service, providing vital military and commercial aviation support to the U.S. and 30 other countries around the world. We thank our customers for their dedication and service as they continue to operate the world’s most reliable utility helicopter.


This is a picture of when Sikorsky started running full throttle in the late 80s/early 90s. We were building Black Hawk UH-60As and converting them to UH-60Ls. We were building the first MH-60Rs, the first Coast Guard H-60s, the Seahawks and the 53Es. The high bay was full of all new aircraft coming online and ready to serve and overcome every battle in front of them. They are the most adaptable, powerful and dependable high tech helicopters on the planet and to this day nobody can compete with their unique style. When you see these aircraft coming, it's like having a big brother and his friends coming to your aide — the best feeling in the world!

~ Jon D.

The Next 50 Years

Sikorsky continues to build H-60M Black Hawk aircraft for the U.S. Army, which is expected to operate the platform into the 2070s. We continue to modify the Black Hawk to meet the mission requirements of its customers and have produced several successful H-60 variants:

  • The MH-60R Seahawk is a UH-60-based maritime variant in operation and deployed by the U.S. Navy, as well as numerous international military customers. Its primary missions are anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare, while secondary missions include search and rescue, vertical replenishment, naval surface fire support, logistics support, communications relay, personnel transport, and medical evacuation.
  • Additionally, the U.S. Air Force currently operates the HH-60G Pavehawk combat rescue helicopter. In February of this year, Sikorsky began the final assembly process of the first HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) to replace this long-serving variant.  The “Whiskey” model is based on the proven technology of the latest Black Hawk model, the UH-60M, and is expected to take its first flight by year-end.

Sikorsky also continues to field new mission capabilities for the Black Hawk:

  • An aerial firefighting system, complete with belly tank, that can easily retrofit to existing S-70i fleets;
  • A sophisticated weapons system for the S-70i™ and S-70M models that enables pilots to engage static or moving targets with high accuracy using forward firing guns, rockets and laser-designated air-to-ground missiles.

Sikorsky also is developing an optionally piloted capability utilizing its MATRIX™ Technology with the intelligence and autonomy to carry out missions with two, one or zero crew members on board. This technology is flying on the company’s commercial S-76® helicopter, the Sikorsky Autonomy Research Aircraft (SARA). Sikorsky expects first flight of the optionally piloted Black Hawk in 2018.


40th Anniversary Video

40 Years of Black Hawk. Thousands of Stories. Share Yours.



You Share.

Whatever your connection may be to this iconic aircraft, we want to hear from you! Share your story with us on Twitter (@Sikorsky) or Instagram (@LockheedMartin) by using the hashtag #MyBlackHawkStory. Please note: We won’t be able to see your post unless your privacy settings are set to “public.”

Don’t have these social media accounts? Share your story here.

We Help.

Following the campaign, which runs through October, Sikorsky will donate $5,000 to Operation Homefront. This nonprofit organization assists military families during difficult financial times by providing various forms of critical assistance, including food, home and auto repair, home items, transportation and more.


Campaign participants will be entered into a giveaway contest. Two lucky winners with compelling stories will receive a Sikorsky gift basket following the conclusion of the campaign.

Campaign runs through October 31, 2018