On May 3, 2011, in the aftermath of the Osama Bin Laden raid that disclosed the existence of a stealth helicopter based on the UH-60 “Black Hawk”, I’ve started thinking about the secret chopper used to carry the Navy SEALs to Abbottabad. Which noise reduction technologies does the chopper embed? Which upgrades render it radar-evading? The answer to these questions can be found in the digital mock up of the Stealth Black Hawk that has become so widely known in books, documentaries and videogames to be considered “almost official” rather than fictional.
Unfortunately, even if since May I’ve received hundred alternative sketches and comments about the stealth helicopter (known also as “Silent Hawk” or MH-X, with the latter being a fake designation) and I’ve also learned of a low cost stealth retrofit for obsolete choppers, I’ve never had any evidence that the shape that I’ve hypothesized with Ugo Crisponi is really anywhere near the actual one.
Hence, I’m particularly glad to publish a rendering of an existing somehow rare weapon system based on the MH-60S helicopter, designated “Armed Helo” (and not Knighthawk or Seahawk as sometimes referred to), officially cleared for publication by the U.S. Navy. Therefore an exact copy of the MH-60S BuNo.167818 armed with 8 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, 2 cal. 50 and 2 FN machine guns.
The Armed Helo Mission Kit, provides the base MH-60S with the capability to extend the HH-60H Seahawk’s typical Combat Search and Rescue/Personnel Recovery (CSAR/PR) role with Special Warfare Support (SOF), Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Operations (ISR), and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) missions.
The one depicted in the rendering is dubbed “Dark Knight” and belongs to the HSC-22 a squadron providing helicopter detachments for Littoral Combat Ships, Amphibious Ready Groups and Combat Logistic Ships, and able to perform wide variety of missions: Naval Special Warfare, Amphibious Search and Rescue, Theater Security Cooperation, Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance, Anti-Surface Warfare, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Utility missions in support of the Fleet and National Defense.