UAE's New Weaponized Black Hawks with ABH Kit

IndraStra Global

UAE's New Weaponized Black Hawks with ABH Kit


By IndraStra Global News Team

Image Attribute: UAE's newly modified UH-60M with the weaponized kit from AMMROC at IDEX 2019

Image Attribute: UAE's newly modified UH-60M with the weaponized kit from AMMROC at IDEX 2019


In January 2019, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) unveiled a new weaponized variant of the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter during a visit by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces H.E Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed (of the Abu Dhabi royal family) to the Abu Dhabi-based Advanced Military Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Center (AMMROC) facility.

During the unveiling, Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Mualla, Deputy Ruler of Umm Al Quwain, Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region and Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed were also in attendance at Qasr Al Bahr Majlis.

At IDEX 2011, UAE awarded a US$ 270.5 million (AED 993.5 million) order to Sikorsky, through the ADAT, to upgrade its 23 UH-60Ms with "ABH Kits/Battlehawk kits". The order was aimed to transform these utility helicopters into air assault choppers. These ABH Kit specifically designed for the all-digital US-60M/S-70i and it is installed by AMMROC, a joint venture company owned by Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company (MDC), and Sikorsky Aerospace Services, the aftermarket business of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation (Parent organization: Lockheed Martin). AMMROC supports many of the UAE Armed Force’s aviation fleet.  

Image Attribute: UAE's newly modified UH-60M with the weaponized kit from AMMROC at IDEX 2019

Image Attribute: UAE's newly modified UH-60M with the weaponized kit from AMMROC at IDEX 2019

The ABH kit enables UH-60M Black Hawks to carry an integrated suite of laser-guided Hellfire anti-tank missiles as well as multi-purpose weapons such as 7-round or 19-round Hydra 70 rocket pods mounted on the pylons under the stub wings at the port and starboard side (having 4 hardpoints). It also includes a swivel-mounted M134 GAU-17 Minigun (7.62×51mm NATO round, six-barrel rotary machine gun turret). Alternatively, the hardpoints on the stub wings can also carry 200-gallon external fuel tanks on each side.

Images of the helicopters at the IDEX 2019 event shows the latest upgrades such as a nose-mounted FLIR Systems AN/AAQ-22 BRITE Star® II multi-sensor electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) turret; as well as engine intake-mounted flare dispensers and modified exhaust outlets.

The two such helicopters debuted by UAE's Joint Aviation Command (JAC) for the first time in public during the IDEX 2019 exhibition held in Abu Dhabi in February 2019. Currently, AMMROC has completed six ABH kit installations to date.

According to the statement issued by the company, the ABH kit is the first of its kind in the region, with the UAE as its first client. Having secured the international patent (through AMMROC), UAE is now qualified to manufacture and market similar kits for all potential clients.