Having tested the capabilities of the UH-60 Black Hawk, Ukrainian commanders are satisfied and say they are ready to receive hundreds of U.S. helicopters of various types.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s General Intelligence Directorate [GUR] issued a press release to show its degree of progress in mastering the UH-60 Black Hawk recently acquired from the U.S. company Ace Aeronautics LLC, noting that it is a machine that is ahead of Russian analogues such as the Mi-8 and Mi-24, excelling in maneuverability and speed.
The Defense Ministry’s GUR reported that, recently, special forces practiced landing battlefield combat groups, evacuation, rope disembarking (fast rope), as well as night flights. Soldiers and helicopter pilots noted that this combat vehicle is significantly ahead of the Soviet Mi-8 and Mi-24 analogues in almost all characteristics.
A satisfactory experience
“The helicopter impresses with its reliability, ease of operation and combat survivability,” said a flight engineer. According to him, Ukrainian crews mastered the Black Hawk extremely fast, in a matter of hours. “Having experience operating the Mi-8 and Mi-24, we flew the Black Hawk the first day we got it. They just sat down and flew,” commented one pilot.
According to the Ukrainian crew, the “Black Hawk” is many times more maneuverable than the Mi-8, and wins in terms of horizontal flight speed. The helicopter is capable of continuous flight for about three hours and can easily cover a distance of more than 600 kilometers.
This type of helicopter is designed to fire rockets and guided missiles of the “Hellfire” type, and is also designed to support infantry and carry various loads. A Black Hawk helicopter takes 3 to 4 seconds to offload a group of 12 fighters and evacuate as many from the battlefield.
Ukraine looks forward to hundreds of helicopters of U.S. origin
“Over the past year, the level of our pilots has grown tremendously. Currently, Ukraine can easily accommodate about a hundred Black Hawk multirole helicopters, about 50 Apache attack helicopters and about 40-60 Chinook cargo helicopters. We could accept such a number with minimal time to retrain our pilots,” assures the first Ukrainian Black Hawk pilot, who carries the call sign “Master”.
According to Master, this Black Hawk is already actively participating in hostilities, including in enemy territory.
However, as the leaked secret Pentagon documents point out, as long as Russian air superiority over the battlefield is retained, the ability to resupply Ukrainian forces on the front lines by helicopters will continue to be severely diminished, regardless of the model used.