The Blackfoot was a prototype next-generation general-purpose medium-lift tactical helicopter used mostly to ferry troops and supplies from place to place. The helicopter could also be outfitted, as the Diamond Dogs and other PMCs of the era sometimes did, with an in-flight refueling probe, two miniguns on the side doors, and pylons for attaching weapons. Diamond Dogs also outfitted one of theirs to be Venom Snake's personal aerial command center for use when away from Mother Base, which also included a weapons rack.
The different factions that used the helicopter painted it different colors. The Marines painted theirs a Naval Gray, XOF painted theirs black, and Diamond Dogs would paint most of theirs olive drab, with one, callsign "Pequod", being painted in whichever color or camouflage pattern seen fit by Venom Snake. The variant used by Diamond Dogs' quadruple engine was still under development, although its armament was functional and could be upgraded. In addition, similar to MSF's helicopters, it was equipped with a Fulton recovery arm. It was also very costly to maintain, as stated by Miller when attempting to stop Ocelot from having Quiet shoot at the moving rotor blades out of fear that she'll damage them. Costs to upgrade it were 60000 GMP for the first upgrade for the chopper as a whole, 160000 GMP for the second upgrade for the chopper as a whole, and 20000 GMP for upgrading the chopper's speaker system.
The helicopter was first seen being used in the mid 1970s, being used by the Marines and XOF.
Rescue of Intel Team agent
One model of this type of helicopter was used by the Marines to counter the Militaires Sans Frontières (MSF) from rescuing a valuable Intel Team agent who was fleeing Camp Omega. The helicopter served as an aerial platform for a Marine with a recoiless rifle who was trying to shoot down the MSF Krokodil that was extracting Snake and the agent.
- Main article: Ground Zeroes Incident
Several UTH-66 Blackfoots were used by XOF in March 1975 to ferry a strike team to MSF's Mother Base in a Trojan horse operation led by Skull Face. Prior to departure, their XOF markings were removed to aid the deception that they were part of a UN mission, with the "inspection" team being welcomed at the control tower of Mother Base's Command Center by Huey Emmerich.
Upon Snake's return to Mother Base, at least one of XOF's Blackfoots was used as a platform for a sniper, who was part of the strike team that was pinning down a pocket of MSF survivors led by Kazuhira Miller. The helicopter was soon shot down by Snake with an assault rifle, and crashed into the platform. The MSF Krokodil "Morpho" would later crash into another Blackfoot when the former was spun out of control by the detonation of Paz Ortega Andrade's second internal bomb.
The helicopter was still in use by the mid 1980s, seeing continuing service with XOF, as well as being adopted by Diamond Dogs (seemingly replacing MSF's HP-48 helicopters) and several PMCs that existed during the time period.
During the Hospital Raid, two UTH-66 Blackfoots were deployed to ferry soldiers belonging to XOF to raid the hospital, as well as kill any patients that were signaling for an evacuation, having learned of Big Boss being stationed there due to psychic residue from Tretij Rebenok and the awakening of the Man on Fire. One of them ended up destroyed by the Man on Fire (at the time a third party who wanted to seek revenge on Big Boss for his role in defeating him nineteen years earlier), although not before one of its missiles managed to destroy the uniform the Man on Fire had been wearing, with its wreckage later used by Tretij Rebenok amongst other rubble as a barrier to deter Snake's escape as well as backup for XOF. Due to Tretij Rebenok's telekinetic abilities, the wreckage briefly reactivated, with its spinning rotor slaughtering several XOF soldiers while they were focusing on the Man on Fire. The other UTH-66 Blackfoot chopper pursued a hijacked ambulance and eventually shot the glass, knocking out the driver, Ishmael, in the process, and was later shot down by Tretij Rebenok via a fiery apparition resembling a whale, the latter having been influenced by Venom Snake's current thoughts.
One of Diamond Dogs' UTH-66 Blackfoots, callsign "Pequod", was the personal transport and aerial command center for Diamond Dogs leader Venom Snake during his time in Afghanistan and Angola-Zaire. Another, callsign "Queequeg", acted as the backup for Venom Snake when he went over to the holding hangar for Metal Gear Sahelanthropus, with Huey Emmerich, Kazuhira Miller, and Eli being onboard (the last being a stowaway). Another chopper ended up hijacked by Eli's child soldiers, including the Mbele Squad, with one of the children pointing a shotgun at the pilot to force him to fly them to an area in Africa, although they were forced to ditch the chopper due to it running out of fuel 50 miles inland. It was in the prototype stages with its quadruple engines still being under development, although it nonetheless had its weapons systems on the ready. Similar to its predecessor's helicopters, it was equipped with a Fulton recovery arm in the event that DD members made Fulton recoveries on the field.
Skull Face himself was planning to leave OKB Zero via a UTH-66 Blackfoot, although after sensing Venom Snake's presence nearby via Tretij Rebenok, he decided against leaving.
Behind the scenes
The UTH-66 Blackfoot is a fictional helicopter that appears alongside the Krokodil in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, as part of the trend of fictional military equipment and vehicles started with that game, as opposed to the mostly real life vehicles seen in previous games. It was first identified in a stream for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The helicopter is mostly based on the Sikorsky H-60/S-70 line of utility helicopters that is in present service with many countries around the world, with notable changes being a more angular nose section, retractable landing gear, quad engines and a tail boom reminiscent of a CH-53. The vehicle's configuration resembles modern versions of the UH-60 Black Hawk, its initial design only entering service in the early 1980s.
The opening credits to several missions set in Africa label the UTH-66 Blackfoot as an enemy vehicle, when in fact the HP-48 Krokodil appears in all those missions as the enemy's helicopters. This was probably due to them originally featuring Blackfoots, but were changed to Krokodils before release. Similarly, the Piggyback Guide mentioned that the UTH-66 Blackfoot was supposed to be fought.
In the nuke-free world ending to The Phantom Pain, four UTH-66 Blackfoot helicopters flew by the R&D Strut in the ending. It is implied the choppers had either been created or at the very least procured by Diamond Dogs in order to grow strong enough to ensure their achievement in eliminating all nukes stayed present for as long as possible.
In Mission 30, if the player attempts to shoot down Skull Face's UTH-66 Blackfoot without setting foot on the helipad, the blasts will hit an invisible wall, which was implied to be the result of interference from the Third Child.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima Productions (2015).
Ocelot: Here. (hands Quiet a Tornado-6 Revolver) // Benedict "Kazuhira" Miller: Hey! // Ocelot: (motions upward to where Quiet should aim) Blades. (Quiet aims after observing the blades in slow motion) // Benedict "Kazuhira" Miller: Wait a minute! That thing cost a lot of money! (Ocelot puts a hand to Miller to stop him before nodding to give his approval to Quiet to fire)
- ^ http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=176667454&postcount=5126
- ^ U.S. Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk on Wikipedia