USAF introduces first HH-60G OLR helicopter for combat SAR operations

30 June 2016 (Last Updated June 30th, 2016 18:30)

The US Air Force (USAF) has introduced its first fully built HH-60G Pave Hawk Operational Loss Replacement (OLR) helicopter.

USAF

The US Air Force (USAF) has introduced its first fully built HH-60G Pave Hawk Operational Loss Replacement (OLR) helicopter.

The helicopter is the first of 21 HH-60Gs the Air Force is adding to its fleet to replace aircraft lost in nearly 15 years of deployed combat operations since 9/11.

The USAF converted 21 UH-60Ls into HH-60Gs by making certain modifications and installing additional equipment.

The OLR helicopter comes with colour weather radar, a digital symbol generator, improved tactical air navigation, new radar warning receivers, an automatic direction finder, and a digital intercommunication system.

USAF global reach programmes director brigadier general Eric Fick said: "The criteria we set for the helicopters we received was comprehensive and thorough.

"The result is the HH-60G OLR, a completely re-missionised helicopter that is fully capable of successfully executing the combat rescue mission."

" … The HH-60G OLR (is) a completely re-missionised helicopter that is fully capable of successfully executing the combat rescue mission."

Science and engineering services was contracted by the air force and the US Army Aviation and Missile Command to modify the initial UH-60L aircraft.

The air force will use the OLR helicopters to conduct personnel recovery and combat search and rescue (SAR) missions until it begins operating modernised combat rescue helicopter after 2020.

Following initial testing, the Air National Guard rescue units in California, Alaska, and New York will receive OLR aircraft in fiscal year 2018.

The Air National Guard units receiving the OLR aircraft are the 210th Rescue Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; the 101st RQS at Gabreski Field, New York; and the 129th RQS at Moffett Federal Airfield, California.


Image: An HH-60G Pave Hawk prepares to land after training in Lungi, Sierra Leone. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle.