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Sikorsky MH-60L DAP (Direct-Action Penetrator)


Special Forces Gunship Helicopter (1990)


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Jump-to: Specifications

The Sikorsky MH-60L DAP serves as a gunship counterpart to the base, troop-carrying MH-60L special forces helicopter.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/20/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The skilled operators of United States Special Operations COMmand (US SOCOM) currently (2021) rely on a modestly-sized fleet of Sikorsky MH-60L DAP ("Direct Action Penetrator") support helicopters to fulfill their armed rotary-lift requirements. The MH-60L DAP is a parallel evolution of the base troop-carrying MH-60L with both developed specifically for the rigors of special forces operations. The MH-60L is currently in service with the United State Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment ("SOAR") through both of the available troop-carrying and supporting gunship models - the DAP variant being the latter, essentially the well-armed model doing away with the inherent troop-carrying capability of the baseline MH-60L.

The most obvious feature of the DAP mark is its wingstubs which are used to mount various air-to-surface weaponry, extensively broadening tactical flexibility for special operatives on the ground. Gunships provide critical fire suppression overhead as well as on-call firepower when needed by these forward-operating ground allies. In this way, the DAP can be outfitted with the 30mm M230 Chain Gun weapon system as well as Hydra 70 series rocket pods, GAU-19 gun pods, and M134 Gatling-style minigun pods - all capable of defeating light- / soft-skinned targets at range. In addition to this, the doors can be equipped with trainable (pintle-mounted) M134D miniguns for point-defense work as well as additional suppression of enemy forces. More hefty options the proven AGM-114 "Hellfire" Anti-Tank Guided-Missile (ATGM) to combat armored targets and the AIM-92 "Stinger" to counter short-ranged aerial threats.

On the whole, the DAP offering maintains the excellent qualities of the Sikorsky UH-60 "Black Hawk" transport helicopter design: a piloting crew of two are situated in the usual side-by-side seating arrangement at the cockpit aft of a short, glazed, radar-equipped nose section. Entry to this area is by hinged, automobile-style doors. Aft of this is the crew cabin with sliding access doors. Wingstubs are mounted high along the sides of the fuselage. The UH-60's twin, side-by-side turboshaft engine arrangement is retained and this drives a four-bladed main rotor system (capable of folding for ease-of-transport) and a four-bladed tail rotor unit facing starboard. The undercarriage remains a three-point, fixed, wheeled landing gear system of tail-dragger arrangement. An in-flight refueling boom is easily identified along the lower starboard side of the aircraft - increasing operating ranges of the helicopter considerably.

Used in conjunction with the troop-carrying counterpart, the MH-60 DAP is a lethal rotary-wing system that has served SOCOM forces well for decades. Its value, and age, are such that a direct successor is actively being sought - and this might come from the in-process "Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft" (FARA) helicopter competition being undertaken by the U.S. Army.

Entrants include high-profile solutions from long-time industry players Bell and Sikorsky.

Specifications



Service Year
1990

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Status
ACTIVE
In Active Service.
Crew
5

Production
100
UNITS


Sikorsky - USA
National flag of the United States United States (SOCOM)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
Special Forces
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.


VERTICAL TAKE-OFF / LANDING (VTOL)
Series has a tactical capability to take-off and / or land vertically, a quality commonly associated with helicopters.
RADAR-CAPABLE
Houses, or can house (through specialized variants), radar equipment for searching, tracking, and engagement of enemy elements.
COUNTERMEASURES
Survivability enhanced by way of onboard electronic or physical countermeasures enacted by the aircraft or pilot/crew.
ARMORING
Survivability enhanced by armor allocated to protect pilot / crewspaces and / or critical operating systems.
MULTI-ENGINE
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
RUGGED AIRFRAME
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
EXTENDED RANGE PERFORMANCE
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
A2A REFUELING
Capability to accept fuel from awaiting allied aircraft while in flight.
MARITIME OPERATION
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
CREW-MANAGED
Beyond a pilot, the aircraft takes advantage of additional crew specialized in specific functions aboard the aircraft.
GUN POSITIONS
Defensive gun positions for engagement / suppression.
ENCLOSED CREWSPACE(S)
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
ENHANCED ACCESS
Design incorporates feature(s) that facilitates loading / unloading of cargo / personnel from the aircraft.


Length
66.4 ft
(20.25 m)
Width/Span
53.6 ft
(16.35 m)
Height
16.9 ft
(5.15 m)
Empty Wgt
12,346 lb
(5,600 kg)
MTOW
26,896 lb
(12,200 kg)
Wgt Diff
+14,551 lb
(+6,600 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the MH-60L DAP production variant)
monoplane / high-mounted / straight
Monoplane
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
High-Mounted
Mainplanes are mounted at the upper-most position allowable along the dorsal line of the fuselage.
Straight
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertains to the MH-60L DAP production variant)
Installed: 2 x General Electric T700-GE-701C turboshaft engines developing 1,890 horsepower driving four-bladed main rotor and four-bladed tail rotor unit (starboard side).
Max Speed
103 mph
(165 kph | 89 kts)
Ceiling
20,013 ft
(6,100 m | 4 mi)
Range
1,398 mi
(2,250 km | 4,167 nm)
Rate-of-Climb
1,450 ft/min
(442 m/min)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the MH-60L DAP production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
Supported types:
30mm M230 Chain Gun automatic cannons.
19-shot Hydra 70 rocket pods.
GAU-19 gun pods.
M134 minigun gun pods.

Specific Threats:
AGM-114 "Hellfire" Anti-Tank, Guided-Missiles (ATGMs).
AIM-92 "Stinger" short-ranged air-to-air missiles.

Also:
M134D miniguns at each fuselage side door opening (trainable).

Also any personal weapons carried by the crew.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft Gatling-style rotating gun
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft air-to-surface missile
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-tank guided missile
Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod


(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 4
Mounting Points




-
-
-
7
5
-
-
-
4
6
-
-
-
HARDPOINT(S) KEY:
X

15
13
11
9
7
5
3
1
2
4
6
8
10
12
14


COLOR KEY:
Fuselage Centerline
Fuselage Port/Wingroot
Fuselage Starboard/Wingroot
Wing/Underwing
Wingtip Mount(s)
Internal Bay(s)
Not Used

Note: Diagram above does not take into account inline hardpoints (mounting positions seated one-behind-the-other).


MH-60L DAP - Direct-Action Penetrator variant.
MH-60L - Troop-carrying variant.


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