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Thread: Chinese Blackhawks

  1. #1
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    Chinese Blackhawks

    Doing some research for a friend on PLAAF strength VS Taiwan I came across Military Balance's ORBAT for the PLA that listed 19 S-70 Blackhawks. Anyone care to elaborate on where they came from? Where are the spares coming from etc? Anyone have any pics?

  2. #2
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    They were bought early on then support stopped due to the arms embargo.

    Here's info from SinoDefense.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    S-70C Black Hawk Multirole Helicopter

    The PLA Army Aviation Corps operates around 20 Sikorsky S-70C multirole helicopters, which are known as the UH-60 Black Hawk in the U.S. Army. The PLA purchased these helicopters in the mid-1980s. Despite the speculations that the PLA faced some difficulties in obtaining the necessary spares to keep these helicopters operational as a result of the U.S. sanction after 1989, some, if not all, of these helicopters remain in active service with PLA today for tactical transport roles.


    PROGRAMME

    The purchase of the 24 Sikorsky S-70C Black Hawk multirole army helicopters is one of the most notable military cooperation programmes between China and the U.S. in the 1980s honeymoon of their relations. To help China modernise its ground forces against the Soviet Army, the U.S. offered its army helicopter to the PLA. Two major U.S. helicopter manufacturers, Bell and Sikorsky, were chosen as main bidders for an immediate deal of 20~30 helicopters, and a possible purchase of over 100 additional units afterwards.

    Sikorsky sent one of its newest S-70C Black Hawk (known as UH-60 in the U.S. Army) multirole helicopter as a counter to the Bell 204 (known as UH-1 in the U.S. Army). Both helicopters flew in most regions of China, including Tibet which is infamous for its harsh weather conditions. Eventually the PLA chose S-70C and a deal of 24 helicopters were delivered to the PLA Air Force in 1985. In 1987 these helicopters were handed over to the newly founded Army Aviation Corps.

    Both Sikorsky and the PLA expected deals of additional helicopters after the successful deployment of the initial batch of the S-70C in China. However, after the 1989 incident, the U.S. government froze all military relations with China. The remaining helicopters in the PLA were also hardly well maintained due to the difficulty in obtaining necessary spare parts from the United States. Unconfirmed reports indicated in 1992 that these helicopters were offered for sale, but it appeared that the PLA managed to keep them flying. In 1997 and 2002, Sikorsky tried to persuade the U.S. government to waive the sanctions, but was rejected by the White House.

    Today the S-70Cs are still used by the PLA, and were spotted in many occasions during the military exercises in the 1990s. They appear often in the PLA’s publicity photos and video images of Army exercises, and have been reported to be flying in high-altitude locations in Tibet. At least 3 helicopters have been lost due to bad weather and pilot faults. As these helicopters begin to reach their flying life hours in the coming years, they are likely going to replaced by the Russian Mi-17V5 in the future.

    DESIGNS

    The S-70Cs in service with the PLA are generally identical to the UH-60s in the U.S. Army, apart from their specially-designed gear box which were derived from the SH-60 Sea Hawk.

    POWERPLANT

    The S-70C is equipped with two General Electric T700-701A turboshaft engines. The internal fuel tanks have a capacity of 1,360 litres. Auxiliary fuel can be carried with 1,400 litres in two internal fuel tanks and 1,740 litres externally.

    AVIONICS

    The S-70 is equipped with a voice and data communications suite including VHF, UHF communications. The S-70Cs sold to China were specially enhanced with the LTN3100VLF weather radar accommodated in the under-nose radome.

    MISSION EQUIPMENT

    The cabin provides accommodation for eleven fully equipped troops or four litters (stretcher patients) with a medical officer for medical evacuation missions. The cabin is equipped with a ventilation and heating system. The S-70 can carry external loads up to 4,072kg on the cargo hook -- for example, a 155mm howitzer. The main cabin can be cleared of troop seats for transportation of cargo.

    SPECIFICATIONS

    Flight Crew: Two
    Length (Without rotors): 19.76m
    Height (Without rotors): 5.18m
    Blades: Main rotor 4; tail rotor 4
    Empty weight: 6,191kg
    Maximum take-off weight: 9,926kg
    Maximum speed: 173mph
    Service ceiling: N/A
    Hover ceiling (out of ground effect): N/A
    Hover ceiling (in ground effect): N/A
    Range: 583km
    Armament: None

  3. #3
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    (Re-Post)

    http://jiatelin.jschina.com.cn/pla/s70.htm
    has an article in Chinese (China), with photos, that reviews the S-70C Black Hawks that the PLA operated in the Xin Jiang and Xi Zhuang regions in western China.
    Because spare parts are unavailable, they are replaced by the Mi-17 Hip H.

    In the Chinese (China) news site "AirForceWorld.COM", an article about the PLA S-70C at
    http://jiatelin.jschina.com.cn/pla/s70.htm
    mentioned:

    On 16 June 1991, a PLA S-70C Black Hawk crashed in Xi Zhuang autonomous region.
    Its 12 crew members were martyred, including a Cheng Du Military District deputy commander.

    In the Chinese (China) news site Sina News, an article dated 12 May 2003 at
    http://jczs.sina.com.cn/2003-05-12/125955.html
    mentioned:

    On 8 October 1987, a PLA S-70C crashed in Qing Hai Province.
    It broke into three pieces, martyred three soldiers, and wounded 15 soldiers.
    Investigators found a fracture on the tail rotor, not detected by the manufacturer. It allowed metal fatigue to cause the tail rotor to fell off, and the chopper to crash.

    OTOH, in the Chinese (China) news site Sina News, an article about the PLA S-70C at
    http://jczs.sina.com.cn/2005-04-13/1031280741.html
    mentioned the S-70A-27 operated by the Hong Kong GFS (Government Flying Service) entered service on 2 March 1993, and retired in 2003. I didn't know they were retired. 8(

    The Hong Kong Yearbook 2002 at
    http://www.info.gov.hk/yearbook/2002/ehtml/e16-12.htm
    reported:

    "The GFS operates a mixed aircraft fleet of two Jetstream J-41 aeroplanes and nine helicopters including six Sikorsky S-76 and three S-70 (Black Hawk) helicopters. In 2002, the GFS helicopter fleet underwent a phased replacement programme with the eventual introduction of eight new helicopters 。X three Eurocopter AS332 L2s (Super Pumas) and five Eurocopter EC155 B1s (Dauphines) 。X to further enhance the service capabilities of the department. During the year, the GFS flew a total of 6 578 hours in support of its clients and training for the complex roles undertaken. The organisation is staffed by 181 disciplined and 61 general grades personnel. The GFS is based at the Hong Kong International Airport where it carries out all of its maintenance work."

  4. #4
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    what are the chances of seeing a reverse engineered copy of the blackhawk emerging from china?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pilatus
    what are the chances of seeing a reverse engineered copy of the blackhawk emerging from china?
    Unlikely due to the fact Mi-17V5 being offer to PLA with almost similiar performance to S-70C with cheaper price tag! China can easily buy a lot of Mi-17 without going into lengthy process of RE BlackHawk....
    Take control of yrself and u will control the world!

  6. #6
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    S-70Cs were very popular among the pilots, especially due to great high altitude performance (at that time no high-altitude Mi-17s were available in China).. Since there was only a limited number of units, Blackhawks were extensively used during their whole service.. Chinese modified one licensed An-12 to accomodate a complete S-70C, so that the machines could be transported to any province within the shortest time..

    Chinese have never shown interest to replicate the technology of S-70C as they found the machine complex and oversophisticated, pretty unsuitable for mass production in Chinese conditions..

  7. #7
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    More PLA S-70 Blackhawks.
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  8. #8
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    The arms embargo has led to a large number of attempts to source components on the gray market - just last November a South Korean was charged with trying to acquire T700s for the fleet. Given that the US State Dept. has reported cleared the S-92 for sale to China, it's going to be interesting to see whether the S-70 fleet is indeed retired in favor of Mi-17s, or whether this will ease the parts issue.

    Regardless, the forthcoming Z-17/CMH co-development program with Europe will probably reduce dependence on the type.

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    The last one is from Hong Kong...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by turboshaft
    The arms embargo has led to a large number of attempts to source components on the gray market - just last November a South Korean was charged with trying to acquire T700s for the fleet. Given that the US State Dept. has reported cleared the S-92 for sale to China, it's going to be interesting to see whether the S-70 fleet is indeed retired in favor of Mi-17s, or whether this will ease the parts issue.
    Unlikely.. The S-70Cs are tired, there is little use of any parts if your airframes are slowly disintegrating in the air.. Their service life was not excessively long, but was immensely intensive.. Iam sure they are nearing their maximum allowed number of take-offs and landings..

  11. #11
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    Flex - I don't disagree that the airframes are aging, but the efforts the operator is putting into supporting the type -- including the replacement of certain systems with non-US kit -- leads me to believe it remains a favored platform.

  12. #12
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    The black Black Hawk with the circular red-and-white insignia was one of the Black Hawks flown by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service.
    IIRC, besides medevac and SAR missions, they sometimes transported the SDU (Special Duty Unit = SWAT-equivalent of the Hong Kong Police, formerly trained by the British SAS before 1997).
    After the French choppers replaced the HKGFS Black Hawks, I don't know what happened to the retired HKGFS Black Hawks...

    The above-mentioned articles commented the PLA pilots prefer the S-70 over the Mi-17, because the S-70 has better mechanical design, better reliability, and easier to maintain.

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by flex297
    Iam sure they are nearing their maximum allowed number of take-offs and landings..
    Although the PLA S-70s are ageing and dying - we cannot change the laws of physics - I suspect the Chinese military are as resourceful WRT patching US-made aircraft as the Iranian military. 8(

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Chan
    The above-mentioned articles commented the PLA pilots prefer the S-70 over the Mi-17, because the S-70 has better mechanical design, better reliability, and easier to maintain.
    That is an utter nonsense I believe PLA pilots might prefer S-70 because it rides much more smoothly.. But otherwise, no chopper on Earth can match the rugged Mi-17 in terms of reliability or maintainability.. Especially when UH-60 is known as a real b!tch to keep in the air, especially in terms of costs..

  15. #15
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    Last report i know of the Chinese Black Hawks flying was in the summer of 2002.
    Regards,

    Arthur
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell

  16. #16
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    Interesting, thanks guys... As for unsuitablity of RE due to overlysophisticated systems what about the RE of the Dauphin? How sophisitcated is that aircraft?

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    Dauphin was licensed produced, blueprint, technical support, parts, and necessary toolings, were delivered from France.

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    http://www.huaxia.com/js/jswz/2005/00392349.html

    PLA S-70C-2, probably old photos, although article dated 2005.11.28.

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    Blackhawk in HK

    The S-70A-27 Blackhawk in HK was purchase from Sikorsky directly in 1993. They are not part of the deal in the 80s. Those HK hawk was retired because the license expired and the HK government don't wanna renew the license due to their limited range.

    The S-70A-27 has a practical search n rescue range of about 150nm. The new Euro choppers increase the range to 200nm+. Since HK mainly use the choppers for SAR mission, the hawk is not that useful.

    http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...nct_entry=true

    http://www.gfs.gov.hk/aircraft4.htm

  20. #20
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    The question is: what happened to the HKGFS Black Hawks after they were retired?

    Were they leased or purchased? Returned to the maker? Stored at Shek Kong AB? Sold to another country or organisation? Or... cannibalised by the PLA?

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    I think cannibalised by the PLA is more likely.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Chan
    The question is: what happened to the HKGFS Black Hawks after they were retired?

    Were they leased or purchased? Returned to the maker? Stored at Shek Kong AB? Sold to another country or organisation? Or... cannibalised by the PLA?
    The fate of one helicopter, the HKG-22 was following (via www.airliners.net)

    B-HZI (cn 70-1825) This helicopter first entered the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (HKAAF) as HKG-22 on 2 March 1993. It entered the HKGFS's fleet with an ICAO reg VR-HZI on 1 April 1993 after the disbandment of HKAAF 1 day before, and then changed into B-HZI after Handover of Hong Kong from Britain to PRC. It finally withdrew from HKGFS on 22 Jan 2003, its licence was terminated on 9 Oct 2003 and it was sent back to Sikorsky by a chartered An-124 (RA-82014) on 11 Oct 2003.

    http://www.airliners.net/open.file/575389/L/

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Chan
    The question is: what happened to the HKGFS Black Hawks after they were retired?

    Were they leased or purchased? Returned to the maker? Stored at Shek Kong AB? Sold to another country or organisation? Or... cannibalised by the PLA?
    All blackhawk were sent back to Sikorsky. During their 10 years service in HK, their parts still belongs to Sikorsky. When spare parts are needed, Sikorsky will send 1 by air. Then, the GFS replace the old part and ship the old part back to Sikorsky. The US is very strict about this because those hawks in HK were built on military standard. They won't be in PLA hand in any case.

  24. #24
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    Thumbs up

    The good old Cold War days. Sigh. 8(
    Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 missing photographs

    http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-databas...irforce/ROKAF/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Chan
    The good old Cold War days. Sigh. 8(
    Not really. The photo is pretty recent. There is a Mi-17 with a ramp and not a clam-shell door and also the KO-50 heater is hanged not "welded" to the starboard fuel tank. This modification is recent. I`d say this photo isn`t more than 5 years old.

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    I was watching the TV news about the Monday, 12 May 2008 earthquake (Richter 7.8) in Si Chuan Province, and its aftermath, when a helo flew over the cameraperson and reporter.
    The helo has a familiar-looking tail-boom-mounted horizontal stabiliser, but its outline doesn't look like a Mi-8/17, Z-9, or Z-11.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2008...nt_8170392.htm

    So I took a look in Xin Hua Net, and Sierra Hotel!

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2008...nt_8167483.htm
    (http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2008...2984584423.jpg
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/photo/2008...8903129733.jpg)

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/mil/2008-0..._8167254_4.htm

    After 20 years, the PLA UH-60s (actually S-70C-2s) are alive and well. 8D
    Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 missing photographs

    http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-databas...irforce/ROKAF/

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    Blackhawk made the 1st landing in the epicenter—Wenchuan


  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by flex297 View Post
    Chinese have never shown interest to replicate the technology of S-70C as they found the machine complex and oversophisticated, pretty unsuitable for mass production in Chinese conditions..

    Sorry but this photo shows that a son of Black Hawk is planning.


  29. #29
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    Thumbs up Black Hawk Up

    http://www.hi.chinanews.com.cn/hnnew...14/112554.html
    http://mil.huanqiu.com/photo/newpic/2008-05/110317.html
    http://military.china.com/zh_cn/impo...4847373_1.html
    http://military.china.com/zh_cn/impo...4847373_3.html
    http://military.china.com/zh_cn/impo...4847373_4.html

    http://newsbig5.jxnews.com.cn/system...02750631.shtml
    http://news.sina.com/oth/chinanews/3...512908870.html

    PLA S-70C-2. Comrades LH92209, LH92210, others.

    Note: Many Chinese newspapers and sites have their headers and titles voluntarily in black and white. Don't adjust your monitor colour settings.

    Youtube probably has news footages of the Black Hawks in action, for serial numbers gawking, eh, counting; such as:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=g962GpDq0Ls
    Last edited by Don Chan; 20th May 2008 at 07:51.
    Republic of Korea Air Force KF-16 missing photographs

    http://www.f-16.net/aircraft-databas...irforce/ROKAF/

  30. #30
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    Good to see the Blackhawks doing their part in the recovery efforts.

    Igor would be proud.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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