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APPENDIX C

CAPABILITIES OF SPECIAL OPERATIONS AIRCRAFT

This appendix discusses the capabilities and characteristics of special operations aircraft. Included are the AH-6, MH-6, MH-60, UH-60, CH-47D, and MH-47E aircraft.

C-1. AX-6 CAYUSE

The AH-6 Little Bird Gun, a light attack helicopter, has been tested and proven in combat. Armed with guns, Hellfire missiles, and 2.75-inch FFAR, it provides armed helicopter support to both ground and air special operations. The unrefueled range of the AH-6 is 250 nautical miles. Figure C-1 shows the basic characteristics and the aircraft characteristics of the AH-6.

Figure C-1. Characteristics of the AH-6

C-2. MH-6 CAYUSE

The MH-6 Little Bird is the only light assault helicopter in the Army inventory. It provides assault helicopter support to special operations forces and can be armed with a combination of guns and folding fin aerial rockets. It has an unrefueled range of 250 nautical miles. Figure C-2 shows the basic characteristics and the aircraft characteristics of the MH-6.

Figure C-2. Characteristics of the MH-6

C-3. MH-60 AND UH-60 BLACKHAWKS

The MH-60 Blackhawk has been specially modified to perform special operations missions. It provides assault helicopter support to special operations forces. The MH-60 direct-action penetrator can be armed with a combination of guns, precision-guided munitions, cannons, FFAR, and other armament. Depending on the version, it can be ferried 900 nautical miles unrefueled. The MH-60 Blackhawk has been tested in combat. During Operation Desert Storm, the Blackhawk was used to infiltrate SOF into Iraq. Because of its range and unique night flight and navigation capabilities, it is used to conduct CSAR for downed pilots. The three versions of the MH-60 are the MH-60 DAP, which has been modified for attack operations; the MH-60L; and the MH-60K assault aircraft. When the MH-60K is fully fielded, only the L and K models will be used in special operations. Figure C-3 shows the basic characteristics and the aircraft characteristics of the MH-60 and the UH-60 Blackhawks.

Figure C-3. Characteristics of the UH-60, MH-60K, and MH-60L

Figure C-3. Characteristics of the UH-60, MH-60K, and MH-60L (continued)

C-4. CH-47D AND MH-47E CHINOOK

The CH-47D Chinook has been specially modified to perform the special operations mission and has been tested in combat. It provides long-range penetration, medium assault helicopter support to special operations forces. Depending on the version, it can be ferried 1,100 to 2,000 nautical miles unrefueled. During Operation Just Cause, CH-47s conducted H-hour assaults to support other ARSOA elements who were air-landing SOF to disrupt enemy responses and seize key facilities. During Operation Desert Storm, the CH-47 conducted infiltration and exfiltration of SOF and CSAR of downed pilots. The three versions of the CH-47 in the Army inventory are the CH-47D, the MH-47D, and the MH-47E. The MH-47D and the MH-47E are air refuelable. Figure C-4 shows the basic and the aircraft characteristics of the CH-47 and the MH-47.

Figure C-4. Characteristics of the CH-47 and the MH-47

Figure C-4. Characteristics of the CH-47 and the MH-47 (continued)



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