The Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk or also designated as the MH-60G is the only US air force helicopter that is dedicated to the Combat Search & rescue missions. This is a 2-engine helicopter that has been derived from the UH-60 Blackhawk and is equipped with the US Air Force’s PAVE Electronic System to serve in the US Air Force. The Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk belongs to the Sikorsky S-170 family of aircraft.
The primary mission carried out by the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk is the insertion as well as the extraction of the personnel of special operations. The variant MH-60G has the main mission of extraction of the special ops personnel while the variant Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk also has the mission role for search & rescue in combat in addition to extraction.
Both these versions of Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk are able to conduct their mission in day and night conditions under hostile environments. The aircraft is versatile in its abilities that makes it able to do following peacetime missions as well.
- Civilian search & rescue
- MEDEVAC (Emergency aeromedical Evacuation)
- Disaster relief
- International aid
- Counterdrug missions
For our readers today, we have gathered a few interesting facts about the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk which are as follows.
Powerplant and other specs:-
The Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk is powered by the twin General Electric T700-GE-700 or T700-GE-701C engines that give the helicopter an shp (shaft horsepower) of 1560 to 1940. This shp allows the aircraft to fly at a top speed of nearly 184 mph for a range of nearly 504 nautical miles at an altitude of nearly 14000 feet.
The aircraft is usually operated by 4 people, two of which are pilot while the third one is a flight engineer and the last one being the Gunner. At the moment there are nearly 67 active duty Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawks with 17 of them being in use of Air National Guard while 15 of them are being kept in reserve.
As we stated earlier, the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk is actually a design that has been derived from the US Air Force’s famed UH-60 Black Hawk but instead, it’s a highly modified version of the said aircraft that has been upgraded to have increased endurance along with having numerous Search & Rescue features. Among numerous of these features, the most advanced installed is in its navigation and communications suite. This suite is a mesh of the following features.
- Internal navigation
- Doppler navigation systems
As for the communications system, the aircraft has the primary UHF radio net as well as has a communication setup for the following means.
- Secure voice
- Have Quick tactical net
Many of the super-advanced version of the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk is also equipped to have the over the horizon “tactical Internet” terminal. This terminal allows them to receive the following information.
- Real-time updates of the mission
- Enemy’s position
The standard gears for a Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk include the following.
- Internal extra fuel tanks
- Retractable fuel probe during flight
As for the engine and the rotor blades, the helicopter has been installed with an anti-ice system whereas the cargo hook on the outside allows the aircraft to carry a payload of nearly 8000 pounds. In addition to having an external hook on its downside, the helicopter also has side loading hoist that allows the aircraft o carry a payload of nearly 600 pounds while hovering form a height of 200 feet.
The aircraft has onboard the ‘personnel Locating System’ that is compatible with numerous survival radios of NATO. This system automatically makes calculations of the range and compiles that information to locate the survivors.
The aircraft also is able to operate from an aircraft carrier and to simply both its carrier launch operations and the air transport to another location, the helicopter’s rotor blades can be folded over one another to save the space.
While there is no doubt about the attack and endurance power the UH-60 Black Hawk, the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk is actually an improvement on the Black Hawk that has been equipped with many features to simply increase the aircraft’s combat survivability.
The first modification in that regard is the automatic Flight Control system that has been augmented with the forward-facing Infrared Radar. This feature allows the pilot of the helicopter to be more focused on the outside of the helicopter.
As for self-defense purposes, the helicopter has been equipped with the following systems.
- Radar warning Threat Receiver
- Infrared Jammer for missiles
- Flare and chaff dispensing system
In addition to this, the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk is often fitted with either twin 7.62 mm miniguns or twin .50 caliber machine guns that the gunners can either fire manually or the flight crew can control remotely.
The Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk was introduced in service of the USAF back in 1982 and since then the helicopter has been responsible for the rescue of dozens of either deceased or injured personnel. In addition to this, this helicopter has flown hundreds of missions for the sake of delivering tons of humanitarian supplies to the remote disaster-stricken areas.
The most impressive string of missions performed by the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk was during the Persian Gulf War when the aircraft had to routinely penetrate deep into the hostile airspaces for continuing its search & rescue mission. During these missions, the aircraft extracted dozens of aircrew members that were lost in the following regions without ever losing a single helicopter.
- Saudi Arabia
- Persian gulf
In other important mission roles, the Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk has also served for the Special Operations Command. For them, the helicopter performed the evacuation of the Navy Seals and other personnels that were wounded deep into the hostile enemy territories located far behind the friendly line.