The U.S. Air Force’s first two HH-60W Jolly Green II combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopters arrived at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, Nov. 5.
Aircrew from the 41st Rescue Squadron out of Moody 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 helicopters were received by the 23rd Wing and 347th Rescue Group leadership.
The HH-60W comes equipped with a wide range of capabilities that will ensure its crews continue carrying out their critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services and allies in contested and diverse environments. The Jolly Green II features advanced and improved defensive systems, vulnerability reduction, hover performance, electrical capacity, avionics, cooling, weapons, cyber-security, environmental and net-centric requirements.
The primary mission of the HH-60W helicopter will be conducting day or night operations into hostile environments to recover isolated personnel during war. The platform will also be tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support, and rescue command and control.
The delivery of the new model is significant to the personnel recovery mission as it begins the transition from the predecessor, the HH-60G Pave Hawk model, which has been flown for more than 26 years. The Air Force will continue to utilize the HH-60G model until the transition is complete.
The U.S. Air Force program of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace the Pave Hawks. A total of nine aircraft will be built at Sikorsky’s Stratford, Connecticut, facility during the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the program ― four EMD aircraft and five System Demonstration Test Articles (SDTA).