By Bijan Razzaghi
Lockheed Martin is to deliver 112 HH-60Ws to replace the US Air Forces aging HH-60G Pavehawks that have been in Air Force service for the past 30 years. The HH-60W has all the features of the US Army’s MH-60Ms introduced in 2007. The new platform will improve the US Air Forces Search in Rescue capabilities by offering a brand new platform using a proven design.
The HH-60W adds a full glass cockpit,and two GE T700-GE701 turbofans. The improved engines give the HH-60W enhanced performance while flying at high altitudes and in adverse weather conditions. The glass cockpit allows for high definition displays to improve the pilots ability to utilize sensors and reduce the pilots workload during critical flight.
One of the greatest benefits of the HH-60W platform is the fact that the HH-60W is being produced as a build. HH-60Gs have been in production since 1982 and the airframe has wear and tare from service in every major conflict since Operation Desert Storm.
The HH-60Ws primary mission is CSAR and CASEVAC. Currently the older HH-60Gs are operating in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria where one recently crashed killing all on board. All variants of the HH-60 use terrain following radar and a in flight refueling probe. These factors set the HH-60 series apart from the UH-60 Blackhawk series.