Blackhawk military helicopters are the most well-known models to the public. In this article, we will look at “How much does a Black Hawk helicopter cost?” and other relevant information.
So, if you are interested in this topic, stick until the end for a complete understanding! Briefly, though, a Black hawk costs between $5.9 million and $10.2 million, depending on the specific variant.
In comparison, an Apache helicopter costs between $60 and $130 million.
Table of Contents
- First, A Bit About the Black Hawk UH Models
- The Cost of a Blackhawk Helicopter
- Other Ways to Consider the Cost of a Black Hawk Helicopter
First, A Bit About the Black Hawk UH Models
The Black Hawk UH series is manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft for the U.S military. The first one was the UH-60A, which was introduced in 1979 to replace the Army Black Hawk Helicopter – Bell UH-1 Iroquois.
Black Hawks served in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Grenada, Iraq, Panama, and Somalia.
Here is the complete list of all the variant models in this Black Hawk UH series:
- The YUH-60A Black Hawk
- The UH-60A Black Hawk
- The UH-60C Black Hawk
- The UH-60V Black Hawk
- The UH-60M Black Hawk
- The UH-60M Upgrade Black Hawk
- The EH-60a Black Hawk
- The YEH-60B Black Hawk
- The -60C Black Hawk
- The EUH-60L Black Hawk
- The EH-60L Black Hawk
- The UH-60Q Black Hawk
- The HH-60L Black Hawk
- The HH-60M Black Hawk
- The HH-60U Black Hawk
- The HH-60W Jolly Green II Black Hawk
- The MH-60a Black Hawk
- The MH-60k Black Hawk
- The MH-60L Black Hawk
- The MH-60L DAP Black Hawk
- The MH-60M Black Hawk
- The MH-60 Black Hawk Stealth Helicopter
- The UH-60A RASCAL Black Hawk
- The Optionally Piloted Black Hawk
- The VH-60D Night Hawk
- The VH-60n wHITE hawk
- The VH-60m Black Hawk
- The UH-60J Black Hawk
- The UH-60JA Black Hawk
- The AH-60L Arpia
- The AH-60L BattleHawk
- The UH-60P Black Hawk
- The S-70A Black Hawk
- The S-70i Black Hawk
- The s-70M Black Hawk
We will look more closely at the UH-60L Black Hawk, the HH-60G Pave Hawk, the HH-60M Black Hawk, the UH-60J Black Hawk, and the S-70i Black Hawk in the next section.
The Cost of a Blackhawk Helicopter
As mentioned above, the cost of a Blackhawk helicopter ranges from $5.9 million to $10.2 million. There is a range of Blackhawk variations, which determines the specific cost. This is because each variation has distinct requirements for parts and specifications.
The mentioned range is set by the Army’s UH-60L Black Hawk and the Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk, with the former carrying a 5.9 million price tag and the latter carrying a $10.2 million price tag.
But there are other variants with a military helicopter price between $5.9 million and $10.2 million. The HH-60M Black Hawk is estimated to cost at least $25 million, while the UH-60J Black Hawk is believed to be $13 to $14 million. Slightly higher, the S-7oi Black Hawk is estimated to be about $15.08 million.
The UH-60L Black Hawk
This model debuted in 1989. It kept the same rotor system as the original UH-60A, but other components were upgraded. For example:
- IIts turboshaft engines were upgraded to a set of t700-GE-701C/D
- Its flight controls were strengthened
- Its hover IR Suppression System was upgraded to facilitate engine exhaust gasses cooling while in forward flight and hovering
- Its external cargo was increased from 8,000 lbs. to 9,000 lbs.
- Its wide chord rotor blades, stabilator, tail boom, and vibration absorbers were enhanced
Here is a picture of the UH-60L Black Hawk:
The HH-60G Pave Hawk
This is a twin-turboshaft engine helicopter that serves the Air Force. It is a member of the Skijorshy S-70 family. Here is what it looks like:
The HH-60G Pave Hawk is primarily used for search and rescue in hostile environments during daytime and nighttime.
During peacetime, it can be used for emergency aeromedical evacuations, disaster relief, counter-drug, and international aid.
It entered service in 1987 to replace the HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopters. Design-wise, it is a modified version of the UH-60 Black Hawk.
It measures 19.75 m in length and 5.08 in height. Its empty weight is 16,000 lbs.
The HH-60G Pave Hawk has a max speed of 222 mph (193 kn) and a cruise speed of 183 mph (159 kn).
Its range is 373 mi and the service ceiling is 4,300 m.
The HH-60M Black Hawk
This is a medical evacuation helicopter designed for the U.S Army. For this purpose, it is equipped with a medical evacuation mission equipment package kit. However, it can be reconfigured to perform other missions and operations, like search and rescue, cargo transport, resupply, and aerial reconnaissance.
The HH-60M Black Hawk can fly at a range of 275.2 nm and an air speed of 140.7 k.
Here is what it looks like:
The UH-60J Black Hawk
This is another twin-turboshaft engine unit and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. It is mainly used for search and rescue. Here is one in the sky:
The S-70i Black Hawk
This is a reliable helicopter with a max gross weight of 9.979 kilograms and two T700-GE701D engines. Each engine is equipped with C controls and can reach a max power of 1,447 kW. It can fly at a range of 459 kilometers with no reserve and maximum cruise speed of 277 km/h. The service ceiling for this helicopter is 13,200 ft. The S-7oi Black Hawk has a spacious cabin with an area of 8.1 m^2 and a glass cockpit, accommodating 2 crew members and 13 troops.
This helicopter can be fitted with a range of systems and equipment, as well as armaments. Here is what it looks like:
Aside from the variant model, the S-70i Black Hawk helicopter price can additionally be affected by the number of units bought at a single time.
If the helicopters are bought in bulk, the cost would be lower and vice versa.
Black Hawks that have been specially modified tend to be more expensive, too. An example is the stealth Black Hawk helicopters, which were speculated to have seen “action” in the May 2011 raid against Osama bin Laden’s compound. These are equipped with more advanced stealth technology, and thus, are likely a lot pricier.
Other Ways to Consider the Cost of a Black Hawk Helicopter
Aside from the purchase unit cost, the cost of a Black Hawk helicopter can also be considered in terms of
(1) Operating Cost per Hour
This is the total cost of all other expenses, like fuel and repair and maintenance costs. According to executiveflyer.com, the average operating cost per hour for a Black Hawk helicopter is between $2,000 and $4,000.
Factors that can affect the actual cost include (but are not limited to) market conditions and the region of operation.
(2) Cost of Fuel
The cost of fuel for a Black Hawk helicopter can be influenced by factors like
- The altitude above sea level
- The outside temperature
- The onboard weight
- The flight speed
- The fossil fuel market conditions
Without considering the external tanks and presuming that all refueling equipment is available, it could cost from $800 to $2,000 to fuel a single unit.
(3) Cost of Repairs & Maintenance
As with other helicopters, Black Hawk helicopters need to be repaired and maintained regularly. As such, the cost of this can be very high. It is estimated that more than $1 billion is spent annually.
Civilian Non-Military Black Hawk Helicopters
Civilians are allowed to buy a black Hawk helicopter if it has been decommissioned and is free of all the military hardware.
The price tag for one can be from $3 million to $5 million, depending on the model and the state it is in. A newer model in better condition would cost more and vice versa.
For example, a UH-60L Black Hawk that was listed on controller.com in 2021 was priced at $5,995. Its key details were as follows:
- Year: 2007
- Manufacturer: Sikorsky
- Powertrain: 1,561 SHP per engine
- Hours: 2.200
Here is a picture of it for reference:
If you buy a Black Hawk helicopter, you will have to factor in other expenses, as well. Consider:
- How much it would cost to bring the helicopter home
- How much it would cost to find a place to keep it
- How much it would cost to repair and maintain it
- How much it would cost to train and obtain a license to fly it
You can expect to pay from $10,000 to $15,000 for training alone
Other expenses can include standby costs, landing fees, sales and use taxes, insurance fees, etc.
So, the answer to, “How much does a Black Hawk helicopter cost?” is from $5.9 million to $10.2 million. The specific value depends on the variation model and other factors, like the number of units bought at a single time and whether a unit has been specially modified.
It is additionally possible to look at the cost of a Black Hawk helicopter through the “operating cost per hour”, which takes into account other expenses, such as fuel costs and repair and maintenance costs.
A non-military Black Hawk helicopter for civilian use costs much less but there are many added expenses you need to consider.
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Before you go, you can explore the top 5 most expensive helicopters and the number of helicopters in the US military here.
I am Everett Bledsoe, taking on the responsibility of content producer for The Soldiers Project. My purpose in this project is to give honest reviews on the gear utilized and tested over time. Of course, you cannot go wrong when checking out our package of information and guide, too, as they come from reliable sources and years of experience.