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The V-44X Blackfish is a multi-purpose VTOL transport used by Pacific NATO forces in ArmA 3. It was added with the release of the Apex DLC.


  • Roles:
    • Vehicle transport
    • Cargo transport
    • Troop transport
    • Close air support
« Developed as a 21st century replacement for aging C-130 based gunships and transport aircraft. Its third-generation tilt-rotor VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) technology allows this long endurance aircraft to conveniently utilize a wide range of airfields and runways which greatly improves the military logistics. It also provides unparalleled maneuverability in its heavily armed gunship variant which has the unique ability to perform either pylon turns or merely hover in place during the ground attack. The huge internal storage allows for transportation of vehicles up to the size and weight of the AMV-7 Marshall APC in the vehicle transport variant or up to 32 fully armed soldiers with supplies in the infantry transport variant. The storage space of the gunship variant is fully occupied by automated weapon stations and carried ammunition.
Field Manual


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The Blackfish is a multi-mission tiltrotor aircraft that uses one three-bladed proprotor, turboprop engines fitted on the end of each wing.

It has both VTOL and STOL capabilities; both for take off and landing, and can operate as a helicopter with the nacelles orientated vertical and rotors horizontal.

It is available in three variants: a dedicated gunship version that has multiple weapons mounted on it, and two transport variants that are designed to carry either infantry or vehicles (respectively).


Mediterranean NATO VTOLs en-route to their drop-off point. Note the nacelles being vectored upward, which allows the Blackfish to be controlled like a conventional helicopter.

Combining the flexibility of a rotary-wing helicopter and the speed of a fixed-wing jet, the Blackfish is a uniquely designed VTOL transport/gunship aircraft.

It can fulfil a variety of roles ranging from transporting troops or vehicles into battle or providing persistent close air support as a (literal) flying gun turret. All variants also possess a nose-mounted targeting pod with an integrated laser designator which can be used to mark targets for friendly forces.

Notable Traits
Unlike its CSAT counterpart, it has a significantly greater cargo capacity and can carry twice as many troops or vehicles. In fact, a single Infantry-only Blackfish can paradrop up to thirty-two soldiers into battle which is double the Y-32's maximum capacity. This is almost four full-sized squads worth of NATO forces; an impressive feat that remains unmatched by any other aircraft or ground vehicle transport in ArmA 3.

Additionally, it is the only Vehicle-in-Vehicle capable aircraft which can carry (most) medium-sized armoured vehicles like the AMV-7 Marshall IFV or the Rhino MGS tank destroyer. It does not need to rely on slingloading to do so like most helicopters, which lowers the risk for the vehicle crew as they won't be exposed to dangers like anti-tank missiles/cannon fire while in transit.

Incidentally by ferrying in IFVs like the Marshall, any NATO infantry squad in the field can be quickly reinforced and transformed into a mechanised unit - a capability which is exclusive to NATO forces.


An unarmed Blackfish relays targeting information to a nearby Defender battery.

Last but not least, while the Blackfish is technically not considered to be a true data link-capable platform, its radars are actually capable of sharing targeting data to other platforms, whether that be a Defender SAM battery or Cheetah SPAAGs. If necessary, this allows the Blackfish to serve as an (albeit improvised) airborne radar should the situation require it, though it can be a risky proposition given that this will instantly expose the Blackfish to enemy passive radars.

The Blackfish consequently has poorer manoeuvrability and is slower due to both the size of the fuselage and its wings being longer. This also means that it is restricted from landing in areas that lack enough clearance (i.e. building rooftops, small forest clearings, etc.) lest the rotors be damaged from contact with structures or nature.


Armed or not, hostiles can freely engage the Blackfish with impunity via its blindspots.

It also cannot defend itself while transporting either vehicles or infantry, as only the dedicated gunship variant retains armament. But even when it's armed, the Blackfish is limited to firing upon targets on the left side of the VTOL; hostiles can simply attack the Blackfish without fear of retaliation while they remain outside of this "window".

Lastly, the Blackfish's extremely large dimensions make it undisputedly the worst when it comes to remaining hidden from electronic sensors. With an extremely high base RCS rating, it can be detected on radar at 180% (160% on infrared/visually) of the opposing sensor's default maximum range.

A prime example of this in action would be flying against the AAF's A-143 Buzzard jet; the Buzzard's active radar only has a maximum range of 8 km by default. Against the Blackfish however, the former's location can be picked up by the Buzzard's passive radar from almost 14.4 km away the moment the Blackfish's active radar is switched on. Needless to say, the Blackfish is not the most ideal aircraft for operations that require stealth.

Crew Capacity
The Blackfish always has at least a seating capacity of four regardless of the variant. This consists of both the pilot and co-pilot, and either two gunners in the case of the armed variant, or two flight engineers/crew chiefs for the transport variants.

Note that while the cockpit crew can swap seats with each other, they cannot switch to the back of the aircraft (and vice versa), and none of the cockpit crew are able to eject in flight. As such, the Blackfish is limited to deploying no more than thirty-two paratroopers at a time.



Armed variant of the Blackfish. Has two gunners who remotely operate its weapon systems through control panels in front of their seats.

All three gun turrets are physically located on the left side of the aircraft, allowing both gunners to fire on targets simultaneously. The right door gunner operates the 40 mm cannon while the left door gunner operates the 20 mm minigun and the 105 mm howitzer.

  • The right door gunner with the 40 mm cannon has access to 160 rounds of armour-piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS-T) and 240 general purpose rounds (GPR-T).
  • In contrast, the left door gunner's minigun comes with 4,000 rounds of high explosive (HE) ammo. The left door gunner's howitzer comes with 100 rounds of high-explosive anti-tank multipurpose (HEAT-MP) ammunition.
This variant has a gross weight of 47759.8 kg.

Unarmed troop transport variant.

Its cargo space contains drop down seats fixed on both sides of the compartment. It is optimised to carry up to thirty two passengers but cannot airlift any vehicles.

This variant has a gross weight of 47709.8 kg.

Unarmed heavy cargo/vehicle transport variant.

Unlike the infantry-only variant, this model's cargo space lacks seating and is instead optimised to airlift ground vehicles. No passengers other than the default number of crew can board this specific Blackfish variant.

This variant has a gross weight of 47709.8 kg.


All three variants have access to the same camouflage options:

  • Olive: Pattern-less olive green paint scheme. Can be universally employed, but is more suited to tropical and and forested environments to help it blend in with ground clutter.
  • Blue: Two-tone pattern-less scheme that combines medium blue and gunship grey paint colours. Designed to blend the aircraft in with the sky as opposed to hiding it from above.


All variants of the Blackfish have base armour values of 400.


The hull can incur up to 1,200 points of damage. 50% of damage is always shared with the Blackfish's main "health" pool. It takes 500% additional damage from high-explosive (HE) type munitions.

Depletion of the hull's integrity will not result in a total loss unless the Blackfish's "health" is at critical and all other primary components are destroyed.


The Blackfish's twin engines can resist up to 600 points of damage before failure. Both incur a 200% increased damage penalty from HE-type munitions. At least 25% of damage onto the engine will always be shared with the Blackfish's main "health" pool. It will not however, cause a total loss unless the Blackfish is in critical status.

Losing one engine will not prevent the Blackfish from flying but will make it increasingly difficult for the aircraft to maintain altitude.

If damaged: Power output is halved. Performing simple manoeuvres will take twice as long to complete.
If destroyed: Blackfish will lose all power and cannot maintain its altitude/vectoring capability.

Fuel tank[]

The Blackfish's fuel tank can take up to 1,200 points of damage before rupturing. It takes 400% increased damage from HE-type munitions. At least 25% of damage is always transferred onto the Blackfish's "health" pool (it will not result in a total loss unless the Blackfish is at critical).

If damaged: 25% of remaining fuel will lost over time.
If destroyed: All remaining fuel will depleted over the course of several seconds.


The cockpit's electronic systems can resist 1,200 points of damage before failure. At least 10% of damage will be shared with the Blackfish's main "health" pool.

If damaged: Periodic flickering of pilot Head Mounted Displays (HMD) and cabin Multi-Functional Displays (MFD). Other instruments remain unaffected.
If destroyed: HMDs disabled. MFDs and all other instruments will malfunction and may not display proper readings.

Control surfaces[]

The Blackfish's control surfaces consist of six components:

  • Ailerons (left/right)
  • Elevators (left/right)
  • Rudders (left/right)

All six components can resist 600 points of damage before failing (individually). They take 300% increased damage from HE-type weapons.

Depending on which specific control surface is hit, the Blackfish's handling and agility will be degraded based on the severity of the component's damage. In some cases, vertical take-offs and landings may become outright impossible to control due to instability.


The Blackfish's sensors are meant to enhance its survivability against both air and ground threats, while augmenting its role as an air-to-ground fire support platform in the case of the armed variant:

Sensor type Max range (Air/Ground) Min range (Air/Ground) Affected by environment? (%) Target max speed (km/h) Azimuth coverage (°) Elevation coverage (°) Friendly identification range (m)
Active A: 7,000 m
G: 4,000 m
A: 7,000 m
G: 4,000 m
Nothing 1e+10 km/h 240° 110° 3,000 m
Infrared A: 4,000 m
G: 3,000 m
A: 500 m
G: 500 m
Fog (0.005%) 270 km/h 45° 35° 2,000 m
Laser A: 6,000 m
G: 6,000 m
A: 6,000 m
G: 6,000 m
Nothing 1e+10 km/h 360° 120° 0 m
NV A: 6,000 m
G: 6,000 m
A: 6,000 m
G: 6,000 m
Nothing 1e+10 km/h 360° 120° 0 m
Passive A: 16,000 m
G: 16,000 m
A: 16,000 m
G: 16,000 m
Nothing 1e+10 km/h 360° 360° 12,000 m
Visual A: 4,000 m
G: 3,000 m
A: 500 m
G: 500 m
Fog/Light (6%) 270 km/h 45° 36° 2,000 m

Active Radar[]

The Blackfish's Active Radar has an elevation offset of 35 degrees from the nose. Targets will only become lockable once they get within the bounds of the sensor cone (represented by the teal major sector on the SENSORS panel).

It should also be noted that the Blackfish's Active Radar is not affected by terrain clutter and will acquire ground targets regardless of their speed.

Infrared Sensor[]

The Blackfish's IR Sensor is located in the co-pilot's targeting camera (represented by the orange cone on the SENSORS panel). Although it is technically affected by heavy fog, the range reduction effect is so miniscule (-0.2 metre reduction) that it will be barely noticeable.

Laser Sensor[]

The Blackfish's Laser Sensor has an elevation offset of 30 degrees. Any designated targets can technically be seen on the Blackfish's SENSORS panel no matter what direction it is facing toward, but this is dependent on the laser spot's position relative to the Blackfish's current altitude and roll angle.

NV Sensor[]

The Blackfish's NV Sensor has an elevation offset of 30 degrees. Any IR grenades on the ground can technically be seen on the Blackfish's SENSORS panel no matter what direction it is facing toward, but this is dependent on the IR grenade's position relative to the Blackfish's current altitude and roll angle.

Passive Radar[]

The Blackfish's Passive Radar can detect Active Radar threats in any direction (regardless of the plane's facing direction).

Visual Sensor[]

The Blackfish's IR Sensor is located in the co-pilot's targeting camera (represented by the orange cone on the SENSORS panel). The Visual Sensor can be affected by heavy fog and can lose up to 6% of its range depending on its thickness. The Visual Sensor becomes completely blind at nighttime and very low-light conditions.

It should be noted that the Visual Sensor has an elevation offset of 1 degree.


NOTE: For specifics on the Cannon 40 mm/Cannon 105 mm's munitions, see its related section(s) listed here and here.

All weapon systems are mounted onto the port side of the Blackfish's fuselage, and are only available on the Armed variant. The Cannon 105 mm and Minigun 20 mm are both controlled by the left gunner position, while the Cannon 40 mm is controlled by the right gunner position instead.

Azimuth and elevation sweep angles differ depending on the gunner's armament. For the left gunner, both of their weapons have a vertical rotation limit of 13 degrees (up) and 28 degrees (down) but are restricted to a horizontal "window" of 34 degrees only. On the other hand, the right gunner has a vertical rotation limit of 13 degrees (up) and 33 degrees (down), but has a slightly larger horizontal "window" of 42 degrees.

For optics, both gunners have access to the same three fields of view and can toggle either a day, night or black-hot/white-hot thermal vision mode:

Minigun 20 mm[]


NOTE: Only available for the left gunner on the V-44X Blackfish (Armed) variant.

Base damage value Aerodynamic friction Initial velocity (m/s) Penetration depth (mm)
60 -0.00078 1,030 51.63

20 mm Gatling cannon. Fires high-explosive (HE) rounds that are effective against groups of infantry, unarmoured/lightly-armoured vehicles and low-flying helicopters.

It can attain a fire rate of ~ 2,068 rounds per minute and has a muzzle velocity of 1,030 m/s. Accuracy-wise, the Minigun 20 mm retains a dispersion of 0.0076 rad at distances of up to 1,600 metres.

The fire control system for the Minigun 20 mm features automatic lead/zeroing adjustment. It can target vehicles moving at speeds of up to ~ 110 km/h but takes 0.5 seconds to compute a firing solution. Manual zeroing is also possible, though only in 100 m increments which go up to 800 m before jumping to 1000 m, 1200 m, 1500 m, 2100 m and finally 2400 m.

Cannon 105 mm[]


NOTE: Only available for the left gunner on the V-44X Blackfish (Armed) variant.

105 mm self-propelled howitzer. Fires high-explosive anti-tank multi-purpose (HEAT-MP) artillery shells that can be used against small groups of infantry and unarmoured/light/medium-armoured ground vehicles.

It has a firing delay of 5 seconds in-between shots (12 RPM) and has a muzzle velocity of 1,330 m/s. Accuracy-wise, the Cannon 105 mm retains a dispersion of 0.001 rad regardless of range. The warhead for the HEAT-MP shells feature both an explosive charge and kinetic penetrator submunition. The explosive charge always detonates first upon impact and has a blast radius of 4.2 metres.

Both the FCS and manual zeroing specifications for the Cannon 105 mm are identical to those used by the Minigun 20 mm.

Cannon 40 mm[]


NOTE: Only available for the right gunner on the V-44X Blackfish (Armed) variant.

40 mm autocannon. Can load either HE or AP-type shells.

It has an effective firing range of 1,500 metres. The Cannon 40 mm can attain a fire rate of up to 200 RPM. There is no delay for switching between the different rounds, but it takes 40 seconds to reload the "magazine" for each individual type.

Accuracy-wise, dispersion will differ depending on whether AP or HE rounds are being used; for AP rounds dispersion is set at 0.0009 rad, while for HE rounds it has increased spread with a dispersion value of 0.0015 rad instead.

Both the FCS and manual zeroing specifications for the Cannon 40 mm are identical to those used by the Minigun 20 mm.

Vehicle-in-Vehicle Transport[]


AMV-7 Marshall IFV loaded and ready for bear.

The Vehicle Transport variant is capable of loading any of the following ground vehicles, boats and drones:

The Blackfish has a wider range of vehicles it can transport than the Vehicle Transport variant of the Y-32, and is able to carry two passengers in addition to its pilot and copilot. Vehicles can also be paradropped from the Blackfish at altitudes exceeding 100 metres. However, the Vehicle Transport Blackfish is unarmed and relies upon other vehicles to protect it in combat.

For comparison, the Infantry Transport Blackfish has room for 34 passengers in addition to the pilot and copilot. The 30 passengers in the back are able to parachute out of the vehicle while in mid-flight. Likewise, this variant is also unarmed.

It should also be noted that small UAVs such as the Utility Drone will be ejected from the Blackfish with parachutes rather than immediately flying. Additionally, it is possible to combine some of the smaller vehicles with larger ones i.e. one UGV Stomper and two Quadbikes. The only caveat is that any combination of vehicles must still fit within the confines of the cargo bay (dimension, not weight, matters for any vehicle loads).

Supply crates[]

NOTE: Objects that are not strictly classified as supply crates, as well as those featured in non-official third party-developed Creator DLCs are deliberately excluded from this section.


Blackfish paradropping supply pallets.

In addition to vehicles, the Blackfish is able to carry portable ammunition crates and supply boxes:

  • Fifty Basic Ammo/Explosives/Grenades/Support crates
  • Forty five Basic Weapons/Launchers crates
  • Sixteen Special Weapons crates
  • Nine Supply Box pallets
  • Five Cargo Net pallets (all variants)
  • Four Ammo Cache/Equipment Cache piles (does not include the Weapons Cache)
  • Twenty four Equipment/Uniform crates
  • Six Vehicle Ammo containers

Cargo that is deployed whilst the Blackfish is flying will be airdropped via parachutes. If there is more than one object, they will be unloaded in a staggered fashion with a delay of ~ 3 seconds in-between drops.

Supply containers/pods[]


Loaded with the CH-67 Huron's Fuel container.

The Blackfish is able to load the CH-67 Huron's supply containers along with the Mi-290 Taru's multi-mission pods.

It can only fit a single of these within the confines of the cargo hold, though smaller objects that do not exceed the hold's constraints can still be loaded alongside the container/pod.

However, it should be noted that while it can freely load all of the Huron's containers, the Blackfish is unable to load the Taru's Transport and Medical pods.


  • Arma3-achievement-transportservice
    Transport Service
    • Load a total of at least five vehicles using the Blackfish's Vehicle-in-Vehicle Transport (ViVT) feature and then unload them while in the air.
    • You can earn this achievement in the editor or any of the showcases/missions where you get to control the Blackfish.
    • It is not necessary to perform all five drops at once. The counter is cumulative no matter the session.
    • The type of vehicle(s) being loaded and dropped does not matter. It can be a ground vehicle, boat or drone.


  • The Blackfish appears to be based on an enlarged version of the real-life Bell Boeing "V-22 Osprey" currently in use by both the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Air Force, as well as the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.
    • According to CTRG Group 15 member Salvo in the Apex Protocol campaign, the Blackfish seemingly has a notorious reputation for being unsafe to ride in (Salvo even directly refers to it as a "deathtrap").[1][2]
    • This is possibly a reference to the real Osprey's controversies surrounding its safety record, after numerous high-profile accidents that has led to its groundings by both the U.S. and Japanese militaries.[3][4]
  • The Blackfish's rotor propulsion system on the other hand, seems to be based on the "V-280 Valor". The Valor is another tiltrotor aircraft design intended to replace the venerable "UH-60 Black Hawk" as part of the U.S. Army/U.S. Navy Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program. Like the V-22, it is also designed by Bell Helicopters (a subsidiary of Textron) but in partnership with Lockheed Martin instead.
    • Its armed configuration is obviously inspired by Lockheed Martin's "AC-130 Spectre" gunship. Unlike the in-game Blackfish however, the real-world AC-130 is not V/STOL-capable due to being based on the "C-130 Hercules" transport plane.
  • The Blackfish is second only to the LST troop transport ship in ArmA: Cold War Assault passenger capacity-wise.
  • Prior to Game Update 1.76, a glitch would cause the Blackfish to take critical hull damage regardless of whether it was landing in VTOL or STOL mode.[5]
  • Both gunners did not originally have the ability to toggle a night vision mode prior to Game Update 1.86 and were limited to just day/thermal vision modes only.[6]
    • The patch also added a third field of view to the cameras for both gunner positions. Before the patch's release, the gunners were restricted to just two NFOV modes that made it difficult for them to aim properly while the Blackfish remained on the move.[6]
  • Following the release of Game Update 2.06, the Vehicle Transport variant was given the ability to carry ammunition crates as opposed to being restricted to just ferrying vehicles.[7]
    • However, it is only possible to load cargo objects through the editor as no gameplay changes were made to allow for objects to be loaded dynamically whilst in-game. Custom scripts must be used to allow for objects to be loaded outside of the editor.



  1. Despite its small size (visually), the AR-2 Darter's geometry LOD is significantly larger than its appearance which prevents more than four from being fitted into the cargo hold.
  2. All seventy ED-1D/Es will be placed side-by-side within the cargo hold.


  1. ARMA 3: Apex 2016 [Video Game], Bohemia Interactive a.s., Apex Protocol, Firestarter, "Angel of deathtrap more like..."
  2. ARMA 3: Apex 2016 [Video Game], Bohemia Interactive a.s., Apex Protocol, Firestarter, "Riker, c'mon. We really catching a ride in one of those death traps?"
  3. Dudley, R 2012, US Defense Department Tells Japanese the MV-22B Osprey is Safe, Defense Update, viewed 13 March 2024, <>.
  4. Sisk, R 2015, Osprey's Own Rotor Wash Led to Deadly Crash,, viewed 13 March 2024, <>.
  5. van 't Land, J.J. 2017, SPOTREP #00073, Arma 3, viewed 4 October 2023, <>.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Kužel, O 2018, SPOTREP #00082, Arma 3, viewed 4 October 2023, <>.
  7. van 't Land, J.J. 2021, SPOTREP #00100, Arma 3, viewed 6 October 2021, <>.

External links[]

See also[]

Aircraft of comparable role and configuration[]

Vehicles of ArmA 3
Wheeled AFV-4 GorgonAMV-7 MarshallHatchbackHEMTTHunterIfritKartMB 4WDMSE-3 MaridOffroadProwlerQilinRhino MGS (UP) • StriderSUVTempestTractorTruckQuadbikeUGV StomperVanZamak (MRL)
Tracked 2S9 SochorAWC NyxBTR-K KamyshCRV-6e BobcatED-1D Mini UGV (ED-1E) • IFV-6a CheetahIFV-6c PantherFV-720 MoraM2A1 Slammer (A4 UP) • M4 ScorcherM5 SandstormMBT-52 KumaT-100 Varsuk (X Futura) • T-140 Angara (T-140K) • ZSU-39 Tigris
Rotor-wing AH-9 PawneeAH-99 BlackfootAR-2 DarterCH-49 MohawkCH-67 HuronDemining DroneMH-9 Hummingbird (M900) • Mi-48 KajmanMi-290 TaruMQ-12 FalconPO-30 OrcaUH-80 Ghost HawkUtility DroneWY-55 Hellcat
Fixed-wing A-143 BuzzardA-149 GryphonA-164 WipeoutCaesar BTTF/A-181 Black Wasp IIKH-3A FenghuangMQ-4A GreyhawkTo-199 NeophronTo-201 ShikraUCAV SentinelV-44X BlackfishY-32 Xi'an
Aquatic Assault BoatMotorboatRHIBSpeedboatSDVWater Scooter
(Parenthesis) denote variants.
Karts DLC | Helicopters DLC | Apex DLC | Jets DLC | Laws of War DLC | Tanks DLC | Contact DLC
Arma3-factionicon-nato NATO - Vehicles (ArmA 3)
Wheeled AMV-7 MarshallHEMTTHunterProwlerQuadbikeRhino MGS (UP) • UGV Stomper
Tracked CRV-6e BobcatED-1D Pelter (ED-1E Roller) • IFV-6a CheetahIFV-6c PantherM2A1 Slammer (A4 UP) • M4 ScorcherM5 Sandstorm
Rotor-wing AH-9 PawneeAH-99 BlackfootAL-6 PelicanAR-2 DarterCH-67 HuronMH-9 HummingbirdMQ-12 FalconUH-80 Ghost Hawk
Fixed-wing A-164 WipeoutF/A-181 Black Wasp IIMQ-4A GreyhawkUCAV SentinelV-44X Blackfish
Aquatic Assault Boat (Rescue) • Speedboat MinigunSDV
(Parenthesis) denote variants.
Helicopters DLC | Apex DLC | Jets DLC | Laws of War DLC | Tanks DLC | Contact DLC