An advance stealth version of the legendary American gunship ‘Black Hawk’ is being offered to India.
A special team of the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation that manufactures Black Hawks for the United States is on it’s way to New Delhi to give a detailed presentation on this helicopter to the Defence Ministry on June 20.
This will be Black Hawk’s first presentation to India which might just turn up to be one of it’s largest customer after the United States. The presentation is not linked to any defence deal which are currently under consideration. The MoD will evaluate this machine as part of the futuristic war scenario and will take a call on the stealth technology after the presentation.
India will obviously go for stealth technology and will not compromise on quality.
The Americans are offering the latest UH-60M Black Hawks to India despite having strong military ties with Pakistan. The US is not willing to sell these advance helicopter to Islamabad.
After much lobbying in the corridors of power in Capitol Hill, the US Administration has permitted private sector Sikorsky to offer Black Hawks to India. The Black Hawk is the world’s most expensive helicopter because of it’s highly classified state-of-the-art avionics, radars, weapons and fighting capability.
The Americans have in the past offered Black Hawk’s naval variant, the Seahawk to New Delhi. The Seahawk is currently in the race for the Navy’s over $1 billion deal for 16 multi-role helicopters. The naval deal is almost at the final stage. The only rival to the Seahawk is the NH90 chopper produced by the NATO Helicopter Industries (NHI), a European consortium of firms from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland and Australia.
The Black Hawk offer has definitely generated interest in the IAF as well as the Army, which are keen to look at it for desert as well as high-altitude operations for theaters like the Siachen glacier.
Black Hawk become a legendary helicopter in America’s war history. It is also playing an active role in Afghanistan and Pakistan in counter-terrorism operations.
On the 1st May of 2011, the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, it emerged that the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, which operated the helicopters during the raid, used a highly modified version of the UH-60 Blackhawk. Features apparently include a modified tail section with extra blades on the tail rotor and other additions which significantly lowered noise levels from that of conventional UH-60s.
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