Sikorsky MH-60G Pave Hawk Helicopter

In the late 1960s, in response to the greater role that helicopters began to play in land warfare, the army began looking for a replacement for the venerable Bell UH-1H "Huey" (p. SO123). Sikorsky's S-70 helicopter won the Army's design contests in the early 1970s based on its power, speed, stealth, maneuverability, size, and survivability. The UH-60 Black Hawk was adopted in 1979, and is the only rotary-wing aircraft in service with all five U.S. military branches. The Pave Hawk (p. SO124) is the variant used for both Combat Search-and-Rescue (CSAR) and special ops missions.

Adopted by the Air Force in 1982, the HH-60G Pave Hawk is for CSAR, while its close cousin, the MH-60G is used for special operations. Both variants are based on the UH-60L Black Hawk, with upgraded electronics systems for operation behind enemy lines and night flying. Onboard systems for the HH-60G include INS/GPS/Doppler navigation, SATCOM satellite communications, secure/anti-jam communications, PLS range/steering radios that are compatible with down pilots' survivor radios, automatic flight control, night vision goggles, forward-looking IR radar (FLIR), color weather radar, anti-icing systems for the engine and rotor blades, a retractable in-flight refueling probe, a rescue hoist (200 feet long; 600 lbs. capacity), RWB combat enhancement, IR jamming unit, and flare/chaff countermeasures system. The MH-60G improves upon the HH-60G for special ops, but the differences are classified.

The Pave Hawk is lightly armed, featuring two 7.62mm mini-guns or two .50 caliber machine guns (GAU-19/A, p. MF30) mounted in the cabin doors. It can be further armed with AGM-114A Hellfire ATMs, Stinger AAMs, M56 mine dispensing pods on the External Stores Support System (ESSS hardpoints). Alternatively, the Pave Hawk can carry two 185-gallon external fuel tanks on the ESSS for extended range. With the in-flight refueling probe, the Pave Hawk's range is virtually limitless. In combat, the Pave Hawk can sustain hits from 23mm weapons fire with minimal damage.

The MH-60G carries a crew of four: pilot, co-pilot, and two flight engineers (or one flight engineer and one gunner). It can unload 8 to 10 combat-equipped soldiers in less than 15 seconds via fast-roping. Recovery of soldiers is accomplished with a rope ladder or by landing. The winch is only used for CSAR, as it is too slow to use for recovery in a combat situation. However, it can lift one man in a Stokes litter, or 3 men simultaneously on a forest penetrator lifting hook.

Over 350 S-70As have been exported. It is license-built in Japan by Mitsubishi. It is used by over 20 other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Philippines, Thailand, and Morocco.


Subassemblies: Body +4, Top-and-tail rotor +1, Stub Wings +1, three small Wheels +0.

Powertrain: Two 1,342-kW Improved Turbo-charged HP gas engines; 2,684-kW Improved TTR drivetrain, 2,300-kWs advanced battery.

Fuel: 360 gallons aviation gas (fire 13) in self-sealing tank [Body] (fire -1).

Occupancy: 5 NCS, 9 CPS.

Cargo: 407 lbs. [Body].


Armor F RL B T U

Body/TTR: 4/45 4/45 4/45 4/45 4/45

Stub Wings: 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15



Body: Long-range radio with scrambler; night vision light amplification; autopilot; military GPS; IFF; inertial navigation system; non-targeting Radar; thermograph; HUDWAC; laser designator, advanced radar detector, IR searchlight, IR jammer (-4); smoke/decoy discharger (2 reloads); winch, duplicate pilot controls, environmental control, refueling probe, HMG door mounts. Stub Wings: one 1,650-lb. and one 3,160-lb. hardpoint each.



2x7.62mm miniguns/GAU-2B or M134 [Body:L,R] (8,000 rounds each).


2x.50-cal HMG/GAU-/19A [Body:L,R] (8,000 rounds each).



Size: 50'x21'2"x9'5" Payload: 5.5 tons Lwt.: 11.25 tons

Volume: 4216 cf Maint.: 11 hours Price: $3,072,654


HT: 12. HPs: 2,400 Body, 450 Rotors, 300 Stub Wings, 100 each Wheel.


aSpeed: 184 aAccel: 4 aDecel: 32 aMR: 8 aSR: 3

Stall speed 0.


Design Notes:

The rotor diameter is 53'. Without the stub wings, width is 8'10". The rotors and tail pylon can be folded for air transport.

Determining the actual volumetric size of the helicopter was difficult. Initially I used a Structure-First Design Path. Measurements from a diagram in a book provided a rough volume of 3,840 cf . Realizing the design was too heavy by 33%, further research turned up volumetric values of 396 cf for the helicopter's cabin and 20.34 cf for storage. A formula provided online by Brandon Cope yields a fast and furious volume of 1,046 cf (!). Since 3,840 cf. seemed very large based on the actual cabin size provided Sikorsky's documentation, I elected for this to be used as Empty Space around which all the components were added in a retroactive Component-First Design Path. This gave me an overall volume of 638 cf for components, plus 396 cf for crew access and 20 cf for cargo storage, adding up to a total body volume of 1,054 cf, which lined up nicely with the Cope formula. In any event, performance calculations were based on the real-world loaded weight of 22,500 lbs., and all cargo, payload, and loaded weight figures are real-world statistics. Calculated aSpeed was 235 mph; the real-world cruising speed is shown. The U.S. military purchase price in 1992 was $10.1 million.

The armor for the Black Hawk was described as a titanium/fiberglass composite that could sustain hits from 23mm weapons. The Army required the chopper to be able to withstand a hit from 7.62mm weapons at less than 300 yards. I selected DR 45 for the body and blades based on the table on p. VL34, but increased the armor to Expensive to save weight. This still makes the design weight 35% too heavy. GMs wishing to decrease this fudge factor could halve the DR or increase the armor again to Advanced Composite.



There are a multitude of variants of the Sikorsky UH-60. Some of them include:

UH-60A Black Hawk: The original U.S. Army version.

EH-60A and MH-60A Black Hawks were modified for additional electronics and avionics.

SH-60B Seahawk: The U.S. Navy's sea-going version.

SH-60F Seahawk: 1988 upgrade.

HH-60G Pave Hawk: U.S.A.F. CSAR version.

MH-60G Pave Hawk: U.S.A.F. special ops version.

HH-60J Jayhawk: U.S. Coast Guard version.

UH-60J and UH-60JA Black Hawk: Japanese export variant.

MH-60K Black Hawk: Version used by the 160th SOAR.

UH-60L Black Hawk: The UH-60A with upgraded engines, a more durable gearbox, and additional vibration absorbers.

MH-60L DAP: A special ops modification, operated by the 160th SOAR. Armed with 30mm chain gun and 2.75" rockets, plus M134D Gatlings guns operated from the door mounts or fixed forward.

AH-60L Arpia III: Columbian export version, with improved electronics, firing system, FLIR, radar, light rockets and machine guns.

AH-60L Battle Hawk: Australian export version.

UH-60M Black Hawk: An upgraded UH-60L, with wide chord rotor blades, improved engines and gearbox, integrated Vehicle Management System computer, and "Glass Cockpit" flight instrument suite. This version is intended to replace all current UH-60A and UH-60L aircraft.

VH-60N Whitehawk: Modified HH-60D for Presidential transport.

UH-60P Black Hawk: A UH-60L version for export to the Republic of Korea.

UH-60Q Black Hawk: A UH-60A modified for medical evacuation operations.

MH-60R Seahawk: Modified SH-60B with improved engines.

MH-60S Knighthawk: The Navy's multi-role combat support helicopter. Use for search and rescue, CSAR, MEDEVAC, Organic Airborne Mine Countermeasures, and ant-surface warfare. Improved engines.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic