Military Helicopters

MH-53J Pave Low   HH-60 Pave Hawk   SH-60 Seahawk   AH-1W Super Cobra

AH-64D Apache   UH-60 Blackhawk   CH-53E Super Stallion   Chinook (CH-47 & MH-47)

UH-1C   V-22 Osprey



The Pave Low is a powerful special operations chopper operated by the U.S. Air Force, mainly for transporting special operations forces. It can carry two 7.62mm miniguns along with a .50-caliber machine gun.

MH-53J Pave Low III


Primary function: Long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in day, night or marginal weather conditions

Speed: 165 mph

Armament: Combination of up to three 7.62mm miniguns or .50-caliber machine guns

Crew: Officers, two pilots; enlisted, two flight engineers and two aerial gunners

Power Plant: Two General Electric T64-GE/-100 engines

Thrust: 4,330 shaft horsepower per engine

Length: 88 feet (28 meters)

Height: 25 feet (7.6 meters)

Rotary Diameter: 72 feet (21.9 meters)

Ceiling: 16,000 feet (4,876 meters)

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 46,000 pounds (Emergency War Plan allows for 50,000 pounds) 

Range: 600 nautical miles (unlimited with aerial refueling)

Builder: Sikorsky

Date Deployed: 1981

Unit Cost: $40 million

Air Force Inventory: Active force, 13 MH-53J's, 25 MH-53M's; Reserve, 0; ANG, 0



HH-60G Pave Hawk


Primary function: Combat search and rescue and military operations other than war in day, night or marginal weather conditions

Speed: 184 mph

Armament: Two 7.62mm machine guns

Crew: Two pilots, one flight engineer and one gunner



SH-60 Seahawk helicopters


Primary function: Antisubmarine and rescue

Speed: 207 mph maximum

Armament: Usually two 7.62mm machine guns mounted in the windows; can also be equipped with AGM-114 Hellfire or AGM-119 Penguin missiles, three Mk46 or Mk 50 torpedoes or additional .50-caliber machine guns mounted in the doors

Crew: Three to four




The AH-1W Super Cobra is a Marine Corps attack helicopter capable of land- and sea-based operations. The Marine Corps deployed 4 squadrons of 48 Cobras during Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, where they destroyed 97 tanks, 104 armored personnel carriers, 16 bunkers, and 2 antiaircraft artillery sites without the loss of any aircraft.

Mission: Fire support and security for forward and rear area forces, point target/anti-armor, anti-helicopter, armed escort, supporting arms control and coordination, point and limited area air defense from enemy fixed-wing aircraft, armed and visual reconnaissance.

Features: The AH-1W Super Cobra is a day/night marginal weather Marine Corps attack helicopter that provides enroute escort for our assault helicopters and their embarked forces. The AH-1W provides fire support and fire support coordination to the landing force during amphibious assaults and subsequent operations ashore.

The AH-1W is operated in eight composite HMLA squadrons composed of 18 AH-1 and 9 UH-1 aircraft. The AH-1W is currently being outfitted with a Night Targeting System/Forward Looking Infrared Radar that provides laser rangefinding/designating and camera capabilities.


AH-1W Super Cobra


Primary function: Marine Corps Attack Helicopter

Speed: 169 mph

Armament: One 20mm turreted Gatling gun with 750 rounds; four external wing stations that can fire 2.75"/5.0" rockets and a wide variety of precision guided missiles, to include TOW/Hellfire (point target/anti-armor), Sidewinder (anti-air) Sidearm (anti-radar).

Crew: 2 officers

Power plant: Two General Electric T700-GE-401 engines

Thrust: Full: 2082 shaft horsepower for 30 minutes (transmission limited), Continuous: 1775 shaft horsepower

Length: 58 feet (17.67 meters)

Height: 13.7 feet (4.17 meters)

Rotor Diameter: 48 feet (14.62 meters)

Maximum takeoff weight: 14,750 pounds

Range: 256 nautical miles (294.4 miles) in basic combat attack configuration

Ceiling: 18,700 feet (5703.5 meters) in basic combat attack configuration (limited to 10,000 feet (3050 kilometers) by oxygen requirements)

Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Textron

Unit Replacement Cost: $10,700,000

Introduction date: 1986

Inventory: 147



The AH-64 Apache is the U.S. Army's primary attack helicopter, used mainly for destroying high-value targets, such as tanks and armored vehicles. The Apache can fight close and deep, and in a variety of conditions. There are a number of variants, from the earliest, the AH-64A, to the latest, the AH-64D Longbow.

AH-64D Apache Helicopter

Primary function: Multi-mission attack helicopter that fights and survives the extremes of a mid-to-high intensity battlefield and low-intensity special operations in areas of limited conflict

Speed: 189 mph

Armament: M230 33mm Gun; 70mm (2.75 inch) Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets; AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles; AGM-122 Sidearm anti-radar missiles; AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-Air missiles.

Crew: Two in tandem: co-pilot/gunner in front, pilot behind on elevated seat.

Power Plant: Two General Electric T700-GE-701C turboshafts

Length: 58.17 feet (17.73 meters)

Height: 15.24 feet (4.64 meters)

Rotary Diameter (main): 48 feet (15 meters)

Ceiling: 21,000 feet (6,400 meters)

Maximum Takeoff Weight: 17,650 pounds

Range (combat radius, without external fuel tanks): 300 miles

Builder: Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) (formerly Hughes)

Unit Cost: $14 million

Date Deployed: (AH-64A): 1986

Inventory: Approximately 800 in service.



The Black Hawk is the Army's front-line utility helicopter, used for air assault, air cavalry, and medical evacuation missions. It is designed to carry 11 combat-loaded, air assault troops, and can transport a 105-mm howitzer and 30 rounds of ammunition. The MH-60G Pave Hawk variant is operated by the Air Force Special Operations Command for wartime infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in day, night or marginal weather conditions, as well as combat search and  rescue.

The UH-60 was made to fly soldiers into combat. It has built-in resistance to small arms fire and most medium-caliber high-explosive projectiles.

UH-60 Blackhawk Helicopter


Primary function: Air assault and general support missions

Speed: 160 mph

Crew: Two pilots, one crew chief (one door gunner when required)

Manufacturer: Sikorsky Aircraft.

Length: 64 feet 10 inches (rotor turning).

Width: 53 feet 8 inches (rotor turning).

Height: 16 feet 10 inches (overall).

Weight: 11,500 pounds.

Propulsion: Two T700-GE-701Cs. Crew: Three.

Vertical Rate of Climb: 185 feet per minute.

Max Range: 315 nautical miles (internal fuel).

Variants: EH-60A electronic warfare aircraft; MH-60K Special Operations aircraft; VH-60 executive transport helicopter; Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk; Navy Seahawks; Coast Guard HH-60J Jayhawk for search and rescue.

In Service: More than 1,500 with active duty and National Guard troops.  Used by all branches of service



CH-53E Super Stallion Helicopter


Primary function: Transportation of heavy equipment and supplies during the ship-to-shore movement of an amphibious assault and subsequent operations ashore.

Speed: 172.5 mph

Armament: Two XM-218 .50 caliber machine guns

Crew: Three




The MH-47 Chinook is a twin-turbine, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift transport helicopter modified to support special operations missions. The helicopter is used to move troops and supplies on special operations missions. It has multiple configurations.

Chinook (CH-47 & MH-47)


Primary function: Designed to transport troops, artillery, ammunition, fuel, water, supplies and equipment on the battlefield. The MH-47 Chinook's missions include long-range, infiltration/exfiltration of special operation forces.

Speed: Maximum airspeed 196 mph with a normal cruise speed of 150 mph
Crew: Two, three on MH-47

Cabin Crew: Up to 33

Power plant: Two Textron Lycoming T55-L712 engines

Length: 51 feet

Payload: Up to 19,100 pounds

Range: Up to 2,000 nautical miles depending on version

Armament: 7.62mm door-mounted machine gun

Manufacturer: Boeing.

Date deployed: 1962



UH-1C Huey Gunship Helicopter


Primary function: Utility helicopter

Speed: 139.15 mph
Crew: 4

Cabin Crew

Power plant: 2 Pratt and Whitney T400-CP-400

Horsepower: 1290 burst, 1134 norm

Length: 57.3 feet

Width: 9' 5"

Height: 14.9 feet

Rotor: 48 feet

Ceiling: 14,200 feet

Weight Take-off Max: 10,500 lbs


Range: 197.8 miles

Armament: M-240 7.62mm machine gun or GAU-16 .50 caliber machine gun or GAU-17 7.62mm automatic gun.  The helicopter can also carry two 7-shot or 19-shot 2.75" rocket pods.

Manufacturer: Bell Helicopter Textron

Unit Cost: $4,700,000

Date deployed: 1963

Inventory:107 total, Active force, 62; Reserve, 0; ANG, 0


The most widely used military helicopter, the Bell UH-1 series Iroquois, better known as the "Huey", began arriving in Vietnam in 1963. Before the end of the conflict, more than 5,000 of these versatile aircraft were introduced into Southeast Asia. "Hueys" were used for MedEvac, command and control, and air assault; to transport personnel and materiel; and as gun ships. Considered to be the most widely used helicopter in the world, with more than 9,000 produced from the 1950s to the present, the Huey is flown today by about 40 countries.



V-22 Osprey


Primary function: tactical transport and  combat assault aircraft

Speed: 372 mph


G Force: +4.0 to -1.0 G

Empty Weight: 33,140 lbs

Vertical takeoff (VTO): 52,870 lbs

Short Takeoff (STO): 57,000 lbs

Self-Deploy Takeoff: 60,500 lbs

Range: 2,500+nm

Ceiling: 26,000 ft


The V-22 Osprey is a medium lift, multi-mission, vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL), tilt-rotor aircraft developed by Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing to fill joint service combat operational requirements for the year 2001 and beyond.


This very unique aircraft is available in three configurations for U.S. Joint Services Operational Requirements: the CV-22 for long-range special operations missions for the USAF's Special Operations Command, the MV-22 for combat assault and assault support for the U.S. Marine Corps, and the HV-22 for combat search and rescue, special warfare, and fleet logistic support.



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