Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved helicopters. There is just something primal and masculine about them. The thump, thump of the rotors, the infernal amount of noise inside, the fact that you have to fly them with both hands and both feet dancing in perfect synchronization to keep them in the air…there is no better way to get from point A to point B.

My choice for SOF Pic of the Day features one of the best, flown by the best of the best, the pilots of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). Also known far and wide as  “Night Stalkers.” Their Motto: “Night Stalkers Don’t Quit.”

Specifically, the pic is showing us a badass MH-60M Black Hawk with absolutely all of the bells and whistles.  She’s powered by a General Electric YT706-GE-700 turboshaft engine cranking out 3,351 horsepower.


A Few of the Goodies in the Photo

  • AN/ALQ-136 airborne, automatic electronic radar jammers (The three round domes above the windshield)
  • AN/APQ-187 “silent knight” radar directly on the nose and right in front of the doors. This is a terrain following, terrain avoidance system.
  • AN/ALQ-144 (Not visible in pic) Located behind the main rotor shaft. Infrared Countermeasures Set protects against infrared missiles.
  • AN/AAR-47 Missile approach warning system (the three dots and the bigger circle left and right to the radar)
  • AN/APR-39A Radar Warning Receiver (big round thing that looks like black cap behind the door, below the LWR)
  • AN/ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated RF Countermeasures (SIRFC) consisting of three subsystems: Advanced Radar Threat Jammer (ATRJ), Advanced Threat Radar Warning Receiver (ATRWR) and Advanced Airborne Radio Frequency Expendables (AARFE)


Image Credit: helis.com