Pentagon Inspector General finds that Afghanistan’s UH-60s are less capable than the Mi-17

Pentagon Inspector General finds that Afghanistan’s UH-60s are less capable than the Mi-17

By Dario Leone
Jun 19 2018
Share this article

“In general it takes almost two Black Hawks to carry the load of a single Mi-17,” Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine

Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine said in a new report that the UH-60 that Afghanistan imported to replace the Mi-17 is not as capable as the Russian rotocraft.

As reported by Bloomberg, Fine wrote in his latest quarterly assessment of U.S. expenditures in Afghanistan, posted in May (the same month the first Black Hawk was flown in an Afghanistan operation by the nascent air force) that the transition to Black Hawks “presents several challenges that have yet to be fully addressed.”

Noteworthy Fine said that the Black Hawk lacked the lift capability of the Mi-17 and “in general it takes almost two Black Hawks to carry the load of a single Mi-17.”

The American-made helicopter also lack the capacity to “accommodate some of the larger cargo items the Mi-17 can carry” and that “unlike the Mi-17, Black Hawks cannot fly at high elevations and, as such, cannot operate in remote regions of Afghanistan where Mi-17s operate.”

However Army Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner, a Pentagon spokesman, defended the program to buy Black Hawks, saying that “in many cases the UH-60 is as, or more, capable than the Mi-17” and that “provides more firepower than the Mi-17 variant, which is limited to rockets only and is less maneuverable.”

He added that the UH-60’s maintenance costs are “significantly lower” than the Mi-17. Eventually the changeover will “enable a shift from a Russian supply chain to a well-established and reliable U.S. supply chain,” Faulkner concluded.

Photo credit: Pinterest

Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. HeloShark says:

    Not as capable, but less expensive to operate. That’s a trade that is commonly made.

Share this article

Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Error: Contact form not found.

Share this article
Back to top
My Agile Privacy
This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate. We and our selected ad partners can store and/or access information on your device, such as cookies, unique identifiers, browsing data. You can always choose the specific purposes related to profiling by accessing the advertising preferences panel, and you can always withdraw your consent at any time by clicking on "Manage consent" at the bottom of the page.

List of some possible advertising permissions:

You can consult: our list of advertising partners, the Cookie Policy and the Privacy Policy.
Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices