The US Air Force (USAF) has received into service the first Sikorsky HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) helicopters.
The USAF took delivery of its first two production Sikorsky HH-60W CSAR helicopters on 5 November. The delivery started the transition from the predecessor HH-60G Pave Hawk model, which has been flown for more than 26 years.
The first two of 113 helicopters for the USAF were delivered to the 23rd Wing’s 347th Rescue Group at Moody Air Force Base (AFB), Georgia, on 5 November. As noted by the air force, aircrew from the 41st Rescue Squadron out of Moody AFB and the 413th Flight Test Squadron and 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, both at Duke Field, Florida, flew the aircraft from Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Training Academy.
“The delivery of the new model is significant to the personnel recovery mission as it begins the transition from the predecessor, the [Sikorsky] HH-60G Pave Hawk model, which has been flown for more than 26 years. The USAF will continue to utilise the HH-60G model until the transition is complete,” the air force said.
The new helicopter improves on its predecessor in that it hosts a new fuel system that nearly doubles the capacity of the internal tank, has more capable defensive systems, a greater hover performance, can carry more weapons, has more electrical and cooling capacity, improved avionics, and features enhanced cyber-security, environmental, and net-centric capabilities.
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