The US Air Force (USAF) has revealed the name of its latest HH-60W combat rescue helicopter at the 2020 Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida, US.

Known as Jolly Green II, the helicopter’s name honours the crews who pioneered the practice of aerial search and rescue missions.

US Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said: “Reviving the Jolly Green name honours our combat search and rescue crews past and present. Those who operate this aircraft will embody the motto: ‘These Things We Do, That Others May Live’.

“In the hands of our airmen, this aircraft ensures the rescue community can perform their duties better than ever.”

The USAF has plans to acquire up to 108 HH-60W helicopters, which will replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk medium-lift, combat search-and-rescue (CSAR) vehicle. Pave Hawk entered service in 1982.

The helicopters will be fielded with the 41st Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base (AFB) in Georgia, and the 512th Rescue Squadron at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico.

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The HH-60W features various capabilities that include advanced ARC-210 V/UHF communication system, Rockwell Collins’ avionics and mission equipment, as well as advanced glass cockpit.

The helicopter’s design and features are designed to allow its crews to conduct rescue missions effectively.

Air Force chief of staff general David Goldfein said: “Performing combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for the joint force is what the HH-60W is built to do.

“The Jolly Green II gives us extended range and better capability. I was grateful for a ride out of enemy territory when I needed it and I can tell you first-hand that this aircraft will save lives.”

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Aircraft, the HH-60W helicopter will perform operations such as military, civil, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security and Nasa space flight support.