Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk - Combat search and rescue
The Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk is a twin turboshaft engine combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter in service with the United States Air Force. It is a derivative of the UH-60 Black Hawk and the US Air Force PAVE electronic systems program. The HH/MH-60 is a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The Pave Hawk's primary function is to conduct day or night combat search and rescue operations into hostile environments to recover downed aircrew or other isolated personnel during war. Because of its versatility, the HH-60G may also perform peace-time operations. Such tasks include civil search and rescue, emergency aeromedical evacuation (MEDEVAC), disaster relief, international aid, counter-drug activities and NASA space shuttle support. The Pave Hawk is a highly-modified version of the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk. It features an upgraded communications and navigation suite that includes an integrated inertial navigation/global positioning/Doppler navigation systems, satellite communications, secure voice, and Have Quick communications. All HH-60Gs have an automatic flight control system, night vision goggles lighting and forward looking infrared system that greatly enhances night low-level operations. Additionally, some Pave Hawks have color weather radar and an engine/rotor blade anti-ice system that gives the HH-60G an all-weather capability. Pave Hawk mission equipment includes a retractable in-flight refueling probe, internal auxiliary fuel tanks, two crew-served (or pilot-controlled) 7.62 mm miniguns or .50 caliber machine guns and an 8,000 pound (3,600 kg) capacity cargo hook. To improve air transportability and shipboard operations, all HH-60Gs have folding rotor blades. Pave Hawk combat enhancements include a radar warning receiver, infrared jammer and a flare/chaff countermeasure dispensing system. HH-60G rescue equipment includes a hoist capable of lifting a 600 pound (270 kg) load from a hover height of 200 feet (60 m), and a personnel locating system that is compatible with the PRC-112 survival radio and provides range and bearing information to a survivor's location. A limited number of Pave Hawks are equipped with an over-the-horizon tactical data receiver that is capable of receiving near real-time mission update information. During Operation Desert Storm, Pave Hawks provided combat search and rescue coverage for coalition Air Forces in western Iraq, Saudi Arabia, coastal Kuwait and the Persian Gulf. They also provided emergency evacuation coverage for U.S. Navy sea, air and land (SEAL) teams penetrating the Kuwaiti coast before the invasion. During Operation Allied Force, the Pave Hawk provided continuous combat search and rescue coverage for NATO air forces, and successfully recovered two U.S. Air Force pilots who were isolated behind enemy lines. In March 2000, three Pave Hawks deployed to Hoedspruit Air Force Base in South Africa, to support international flood relief operations in Mozambique. The HH-60Gs flew 240 missions in 17 days and delivered more than 160 tons of humanitarian relief supplies. Currently, Pave Hawks regularly operate in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom supporting Army and Marine Corps ground combat operations and standby search and rescue support for U.S. and Coalition fixed-wing combat aircraft supporting those ground operations.
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