Black Hawk Helicopter Operated in Ukraine?
As the GUR Ukrainian military intelligence materials suggest, at least one Black Hawk helicopter is operated in Ukraine. The helicopter comes from the stockpile of a US-based company that resells modernized US Army Black Hawks.
The Black Hawk appeared alongside a Mi-24, in a photo published by GUR. The release mentions the pilots' return from another sortie and the fact that the helicopters are a major reinforcement of the SOF's capabilities.
The color scheme of the helicopter is somewhat reminiscent of the S-70i Black Hawk platforms delivered by PZL Mielec. Agnieszka Gąsiewska, the spokesperson for the company, told us that "PZL Mielec has no Ukrainian customers in its portfolio", and suggested that information should be sought after in Ukrainian sources. The aircraft does not come from Mielec, but from the Ace Aeronautics company stockpile. The US-based entity has the UH-60A Black Hawk helicopters in its inventory, previously operated by the US Army. The high-resolution imagery shows that the aircraft features paint scheme elements used by Ace Aeronautics (white and dark blue stripes on the lower portion of the tail).
The US sources never mentioned the delivery of Black Hawks, as they only announced a transfer of Mi-17s. The aircraft does not directly come from the US Army's inventory, as it belongs to a commercial business's stockpile.
The Black Hawk is the second western helicopter type delivered to Ukraine as a part of the military aid package. The first one was a British maritime SAR Sea King. Kyiv naturally also received post-Soviet helicopters (Mi-2, Mi-17 - more than 20 examples from the US, Latvia, and Slovakia), and Mi-24/35s.