Air Force unveils next-gen 'Whiskey' helicopters to replace Pave Hawks: 'A beacon of hope'

Now, the replacement of the Pave Hawk has arrived, writes Rick Neale for USAToday.

This spring, the Sikorsky HH-60W achieved first flight (above). Total flight time was approximately 1.2 hours and included hover control checks, low speed flight, and a pass of the airfield. On Monday, Sikorsky showed off the replacement for the Pave Hawk in Florida.
This spring, the Sikorsky HH-60W achieved first flight (above). Total flight time was approximately 1.2 hours and included hover control checks, low speed flight, and a pass of the airfield. On Monday, Sikorsky showed off the replacement for the Pave Hawk in Florida.

JUPITER, Fla. — In summer 2005, HH-60G Pave Hawks with the Air Force Reserve's 920th Rescue Wing flew a daring mission along Afghanistan's Hindu Kush mountains to save Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell after his team was killed in a Taliban ambush. Those aging combat rescue helicopters from Operation Red Wings — later memorialized in the book and movie "Lone Survivor" — debuted back in 1982. Now, the replacement of the Pave Hawk has arrived, writes Rick Neale for USAToday. Continue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

October 9, 2019-The U.S. Air Force program of record calls for 113 helicopters to replace the Pave Hawks, which perform critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services. 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).

On Monday, Sikorsky officials showed off the replacement for the Pave Hawk on Monday at its development flight center in Flordia.

"It's a very proud moment — and kind of sad to say goodbye to a legacy aircraft and platform, whether it's the King or the HH-60G Pave Hawk. But they're being replaced by aircraft that are doing the same mission. So, our mission and our heritage carry over," said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander.

Related: Sikorsky tactical mission kit successfully tested On USAF combat rescue helicopter

Related: Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter achieves first flight

Related: Second five-bladed H145 prototype performs maiden flight

Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

More in Military