In development since 2007, Sikorsky recently acknowledge the existence of an unmanned version of UH-60 Black Hawk. According to Sikorsky the helicopter will be able to carry autonomous missions without having a pilot on board. The helicopter could be deployed as early as 2015.
“The ability for the pilot to leave the cockpit for potentially dull and dangerous missions significantly reduces crew limitations and increases Black Hawk flight operations.” said Chris Van Buiten, vice president of Technology and Innovation at Sikorsky.
The new variant of the UH-60 Black Hawk could be flown manned as well as unmanned depending on the requirement of the mission. The technology would allow full pilot control of the helicopter for complex missions. The helicopter will have technologies used on MQ-1 Predator.
The need for an unmanned Black Hawk came into light after two Black Hawks were shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia back in 1993. With over four decades of service, there are many variants of Black Hawk.
In 2011, during Operation Neptune Spear. A very strange and unexplained stealth version of UH-60 Black Hawk was revealed and was never acknowledged by United States government or Sikorsky.
An unmanned utility helicopter has many benefits, it will reduce possibilities of casualties and will decrease work load on crew during resupply missions.
What do you think the advantages of an unmanned utility helicopter would be?