As the twin engines of the Black Hawk roar for a new mission, the powerful blades sweep through the air creating a cloud of dust and dirt. Within minutes, the pilot has the chopper rising thousands of feet in the air and racing at 150 miles per hour over the landscape of a foreign land. Today's mission is to pass over enemy territory and deliver an 11-team crew to a strategic location on the battlefield.


Photo courtesy Department of Defense - Defense Visual Information Center
An HH-60H Sea Hawk flies a training mission over the Persian Gulf during Operation Southern Watch in 2000.  See more
pictures of Black Hawk helicopters.

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The Black Hawk UH-60L helicopter has been a mainstay of American armed forces since it entered service in 1978. Its flexible configuration, survivability, and maneuverability make it the medium utility helicopter of choice by military forces around the world. The UH-60L and its derivatives have amassed more than 5 million flight hours, including casualty evacuations, troop transports, and search-and-rescue missions.

In this article, you'll learn about the Black Hawk helicopter. We're going to focus on the UH-60L Black Hawk, describing its ability to fly, its use in combat operations, its development and its future prospects.