Ukraine Is Now Using At Least Two UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters

Ukraine UH-60
A screenshot showing the Ukrainian UH-60 taking off and a photo possibly taken just before the takeoff by the same soldier. (Photo: Ukrainian Directorate of Intelligence)

A new video shows at least two UH-60s in service with the Directorate of Intelligence, after the first one was unveiled last year.

After the Ukrainian Directorate of Intelligence unveiled a US-made UH-60 Black Hawk in Ukrainian colors in February 2023, a new video now shows at least another UH-60 helicopter that arrived in country. The video was posted by the Directorate on its social media accounts in response to Russian claims that a Ukrainian UH-60 with 20 soldiers on board was shot down.

The Russians posted online a video of the alleged helicopter taken from a UAV and, while video quality doesn’t allow to ID exactly the aircraft, the tail boom shown is resembling more the Mi-24’s one than the UH-60’s. Either way, neither helicopter can transport 20 fully equipped soldiers.

Back to the UH-60, the video shows the helicopter in its standard green livery with the addition of Ukrainian identification friend or foe markings, which include a Ukrainian flag on the door, Ukrainian roundel on the engine cover and two white stripes on the tail boom. The helicopter is shown taking off from a field with troops on board, with the UH-60 unveiled last year in the background.

The helicopter appears to be in a basic configuration, without additional equipment such as warning sensors and countermeasures. However, mounts for two M240 7.62 mm machine guns have been added as defensive systems. The Directorate said that all its Black Hawks are in excellent working conditions and performing combat mission, without providing details on the number of helicopters.

The appearance of the UH-60 in Ukraine last year came as a surprise as it was not announced in the military aid packages sent to the war-torn country. However, it was later confirmed that the helicopter was bought from the US firm Ace Aeronautics, which specializes in converting older Black Hawk helicopters divested by the U.S. Army for the civilian market, at the end of a crowdfunding campaign that raised six million dollars. It appears that at least another crowdfunding campaign is ongoing in the Czech Republic to buy another UH-60 for Ukraine.

Last year, the GUR (one of the acronyms of the intelligence agency) said that both pilots and troops agreed that the Black Hawk is significantly ahead of the Mi-8 Hip and Mi-24 Hind in almost all characteristics, and that they are impressed by its reliability, ease of use and combat survival capability. They mentioned that the helicopter is way more maneuverable and also faster than the Mi-8, with the capability to fly long missions over three hours or 600 km.

About Stefano D'Urso
Stefano D'Urso is a freelance journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he's also studying to achieve a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Electronic Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT techniques applied to the world of military operations and current conflicts are among his areas of expertise.