The US Air Force’s (USAF) 943d Rescue Group (RQG) has introduced and tested a new concept to increase the firepower of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.

The concept involved the installation of four additional M240 machine guns onto the helicopter.

The existing HH-60 weapons configuration includes two guns in any combination of the M240 machine gun, GAU-2C 7.62mm minigun or GAU 18/A .50 calibre machine gun.

The new concept required the integration of three separate parts on the aircraft’s each door to support the installation of two M240 guns.

The team used a base stand and added an aircraft mount. The base was provided by Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve while the mount was previously in use with the 55th and 71st Special Operations Squadrons.

The RQG then worked together with different companies to mount two M240 guns, with 1,200 rounds of ammunition, onto a gun mount platform used with patrol boats.

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The mount was also fabricated by the 355th Maintenance Group for proper operations within the HH-60G aircraft.

920th RQW commander colonel Jes Hamilton said: “The M240 is multi-capable equipment for our personnel recovery task force that will enable us to perform contested-area combat search and rescue, logistics under-attack and agile combat employment.”

The new capability is cost-effective and can be transferred to the new HH-60W Jolly Green II scheduled to replace HH-60G upon retirement.

It can be easily removed within seconds, instantly becoming an additional rescue vehicle platform.

In the next steps of this effort, the teams will conduct operational trials of the aircraft before the system can finally be used on an aircraft. It will be held in collaboration with the Air Guard Air Reserve Test Centre.