Black Hawk crash: What to know about this military helicopter

·2 min read

Two HH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters crashed on Wednesday night in Trigg County, Kentucky, killing nine service members on board.

The helicopters were flying in a "multi-ship formation" with personnel using night vision goggles, said Brigadier General John Lubas, the deputy commander of the 101st Airborne Division. There were five people in one helicopter, four in the other.

And this is not the first time the Black Hawk has made headlines in the last several months.

The military helicopter was involved in a crash in February, where two Tennessee National Guard pilots were killed when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed along an Alabama highway during a training exercise.

We took a look at the Black Hawk helicopter, its use in the military, how many are in service and more.

What is the Black Hawk helicopter?

There are multiple versions of the Black Hawk in use by the military at this time. The Black Hawk UH/HH-60 is the U.S. Army’s utility tactical transport helicopter used to provide air assault, general support, aeromedical evacuation, command and control and special operations support to combat, stability and support operations.

The Army touts the Black Hawk helicopter has, "enhanced the Army’s overall mobility due to dramatic improvement in troop and cargo lift capacity."

The Medical Evacuation version of the UH-60M, the HH-60M, includes an integrated MEDEVAC Mission Equipment Package kit, providing day, night and adverse weather emergency evacuation of casualties, according to the U.S. Army.

Other military divisions use modified versions of the Army's Black Hawk as well, according to the U.S. Ari Force.

How much does a Black Hawk helicopter cost?

Multiple military entities and division have the Black Hawk ranging in price from $15.1 million to upwards of $40.1 million (Air Force) depending on the modifications to the helicopter.

The U.S. Army penned a multi-year, $2.3 billion deal with Black Hawk developer Sikorsy for 120 of the military helicopters, which averages out to more than $19.1 million per helicopter.

How many Black Hawk helicopters are in service?

More than 4,000 Black Hawk aircraft of all types are in service worldwide, according to Lockheed Martin.

In the U.S. Army there are 2,135 H-60 designated aircraft in use, the largest operator of the aircraft.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Black Hawk helicopter crash: What is it? How much does it cost? More