HH-60H Sea Hawk
The HH-60H Sea Hawk, sometimes known as 'Rescue Hawk', is a dedicated combat rescue and special operations support helicopter. If friendly air-crew are shot down, the HH-60H is configured to retrieve them from hostile territory, be it over lland or water. The helicopter is also tasked with the insertion/extraction of Naval Special Warfare (NSW) units such as US Navy SEAL teams. The HH-60H can also carry out anti-surface warfare operations.
Based around the SH-60F airframe, the HH-60H is packed with advanced electronic defensive equipment and sensors. A gimble-mounted FLIR is used to scan for lost personnel or enemy vessels and incorporates a laser designator for painting targets for up to 4 AGM-144 Hellfire missiles. A suite of radar and laser warning-receivers, infra-red jammer and chaff/flare dispensers increase the HH-60H's survivability. Titanium-covered rotors can deflect hits from enemy fire up to 23mm caliber.
A wide range of weapons can be fitted to the HH-60H. 2 pintle-mounts, one in each port/starboard doorway allow for the mounting of M240D machine guns, .50 caliber machine guns or GAU-17 7.62mm miniguns. When operating in the anti-surface role, pylons attached to the fuselage enable the HH-60H to carry GCAL-50 gatling guns, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, 70mm FFAR rockets, AIM-92 Stingers air-to-air missiles or Maverick IR-guided missiles.
HH-60Hs were first actively deployed in 1990 and soon saw action in the first Gulf War in 1991.
A gimble-mounted AAQ-16 FLIR sensor pod sweeps for targets and provided visibility in all weathers during day and night.
The HH-60H features a AN/AAR-47 Missile Warning System which triggers flares and other countermeasures to defeat incoming missiles.
US Navy HH-60H Sea Hawks can be configured to carry AGM-114 Hellfires on special pylons attached to the fuselage.
U.S. DOD photo by SRA RICK BLOOM, USAF
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