Customers Cautiously Curious About Black Hawk Modernization Plans

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk


Credit: Lockheed Martin

SINGAPORE—Potential customers are curious about the improvements included in the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk modernization program and are observing how introduction into service with the U.S. Army pans out.

A key element is the modernization of the General Electric T901 turboshaft engine, aimed at providing 50% more power and 25% improvement in fuel efficiency.

“I think all customers are paying attention,” Felipe Benvegnu, Sikorsky’s director of sustainment, told Aviation Week at the Singapore Airshow here. “And obviously when it comes to the engine, the U.S. Army is the leading customer as they’re the ones that are funding the program and expected to be the first adopters. But certainly, customers around the world see that as a testament of the longevity of the product.”

Benvegnu expressed similar sentiments on the Air Launched Effects system, which was tested in early 2023 using an Altius 700 drone and a UH-60L.

Asked about the T901 integration on the helicopter, Benvegnu said, “There’s going to be a process of integration and it’s definitely something that is in the road map as we talked about modernizing. It’s designed to fit in there, but there will be some small integrations.” He added that other modernization work could include the avionics and rotor system improvements.

The now-canceled Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft  program was originally to be the first recipient of the T901, with the Black Hawk to be the second platform, although Benvegnu directed timeline-related questions to the U.S. Army.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.

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