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USAF’s HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter completes developmental tests

16 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 16th, 2021 13:31)

A joint Sikorsky and US Air Force (USAF) test team has completed the developmental test programme of the new HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter.

USAF’s HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter completes developmental tests
A 413th Flight Test Squadron HH-60W Pave Hawk hangs in the anechoic chamber at the Joint Preflight Integration of Munitions and Electronic Systems hangar. Credit: USAF / Samuel King Jr.

A joint Sikorsky and US Air Force (USAF) test team has completed the developmental test programme of the new HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter.

The final testing under the programme focused on the aircraft’s weapons systems. It was conducted at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida, US.

It showcased the weapons’ performance while optimising configurations of the weapon system.

413th Flight Test Squadron HH-60W flight chief Joe Whiteaker said: “The timely completion of this test programme represents an amazing accomplishment by the HH-60W Integrated Test Team.

“The team consistently overcame tremendous adversity through a mix of innovation and sheer determination.”

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Aircraft, the helicopter is designed to conducting day or night combat search and rescue operations for the joint force.

Since its first HH-60W flight in May 2019, the team has logged in over 1,100 test hours across six aircraft.

Some of the developmental tests that Jolly Green II underwent included aircraft performance, communications systems, environmental tests at McKinley Climatic Lab, as well as aerial refuelling.

According to the USAF, the test aircraft will be upgraded for operational use before it is shifted to respective Air Force rescue unit.

The combat rescue helicopter’s developmental test mission will move to the ‘Combat Search and Rescue Combined Test Force’ for follow-on testing at Nellis AFB next year.

413 FLTS commander lieutenant colonel Wayne Dirkes said: “I am incredibly proud of the many people from so many organizations who have come together to pull off a really challenging test programme.

“The team’s relentless focus on keeping the end in mind, aligning activity with their goals and moving forward quickly with discipline resulted in execution of a safe and highly successful test programme in the face of incredible pressure.”

In February 2020, the USAF revealed the name of its HH-60W helicopter at the 2020 Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

USAF’s Moody AFB received the first two HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopters in November last year.