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Sikorsky S-70 (Firehawk)

Special-Mission Helicopter [ 2008 ]

The Sikorsky S-70 is a specialized version of the American military UH-60L Black Hawk transport helicopter - capable of undertaking varied roles.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/08/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The S-70 is a special-mission helicopter platform developed by Sikorsky and based on the company's S-70/UH-60 "Black Hawk" twin-engine transport airframe. The latest variant being offered is based in the S-70i manufactured under license by Sikorsky subsidiary PZL Mielec of Poland while earlier marks include the S-70A and S-70C Firehawks. The Firehawk is a specialized fire-fighting derivative while the S-70i has been outfitted to cover special operations support - showcasing the type's inherent versatility.

The fire-fighting Firehawk's design includes an external rescue hoist off the starboard side of the fuselage. Internally, it seats its two pilots side-by-side at the front and a complete fire crew of twelve in the passenger section. The hold can also carry up to two medical litters and limited staff for the MEDEVAC role. The Rockwell Collins-designed cockpit supports Night-Vision (NV) equipment, a digital automatic flight control system and is of an all-modern, all-glass design. A tactical communications system provides the operating crew with a link to ground units. A searchlight is available for low-light-level and nighttime operations. Under the fuselage is housed a 1,000 gallon water tank with a built-in retractable snirkel capable of filling said tank in under a minute. The tank a development of Aero Union of Chico, California.

Externally, the Firehawk series retains much of the form-and-function of the U.S. Army's Black Hawk transport series. It sports a twin engine side-by-side layout driving a four-bladed (wide-chord) main rotor assembly over the passenger section and a four-bladed anti-torque rotor unit at the tail (facing starboard). The undercarriage is wheeled, fixed in flight and of a tail-dragger arrangement (also designed to clear the under-belly water tank). The aircraft includes the usual window fittings to provide the best situational awareness possible for pilots and crew. The pilots enter-exit by way of hinged automobile-style doors while access to the passenger section is by way of the traditional sliding doors.

Power is from 2 x General Electric T700-701D series turboshaft engines developing 1,940 horsepower each.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department of a notable operator of the Firehawk, they relying on the earlier S-70A Firehawk variant.©MilitaryFactory.com
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September 2018 - With ongoing fires in California, United Rotorcraft will be converting a pair of former United States Army HH-60L Black Hawk helicopters to the Firehawk role for the Ventura County Fire Department. These are set to be delivered sometime in 2019.

January 2020 - The nation of Poland has received four S-70i helicopters to cover a special forces requirement. These helicopters were ordered in 2019 and have been produced in Poland under license under the PZL brand label.


Sikorsky / United Rotorcraft - USA
Poland; United States
Operators National flag of Poland National flag of the United States
Service Year
United States
National Origin
Project Status

Extraction of wounded combat or civilian elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and available internal volume or external carrying capability.
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).

64.8 ft
(19.75 meters)
53.6 ft
(16.35 meters)
57.4 ft
(17.50 meters)
11,795 lb
(5,350 kilograms)
Empty Weight
22,046 lb
(10,000 kilograms)
Maximum Take-Off Weight
+10,251 lb
(+4,650 kg)
Weight Difference

2 x General Electric T700-701D turboshaft engines developing 1,940 horsepower and driving a four-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor.
224 mph
(360 kph | 194 knots)
Max Speed
20,013 ft
(6,100 m | 4 miles)
289 miles
(465 km | 251 nm)
2,250 ft/min
(686 m/min)

MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

None. Firefighting equipment installed.

S-70 - Base Series Designation
S-70A "Firehawk" - Firefighting platform based on the UH-60L Black Hawk military transport model.
S-70C - Alternative commercial variant.
S-70i - Modernized variant with improvements throughout; based in the S-70i International Black Hawk variant produced by Sikorsky subsidiary PZL of Poland.

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Image of the Sikorsky S-70 (Firehawk)
Image from official Sikorsky-Lockheed Martin marketing materials.

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