MH-53j Pavelow III
The large, unwieldy yet sophisticated MH-53J Pavelow III is a US Air Force helicopter that is dedicated to rescuing downed pilots and supporting Special Operations troops such as Delta Force, the US NAvy Seals and Rangers.
The MH-53j is a highly developed HH-53 Jolly Green Giant. Extensive improvements in avionics, range and armor and weapons have resulted in a helicopter highly adept at its main mission - getting in and out of enemy territory, day & night in all weather.
The MH-53j served with distinction in Desert Storm, 1991. MH-53j Pavelows, with their advanced GPS navigation and threat detection systems were instrumental in some of the first actions of the war. Acting as scouts, Pavelow pathfinders escorted flights of AH-64A Apache gunships on their mission to destroy key Iraqi air defense radars. Later in the war, MH-53js rescued downed coalition air crew, often from deep within enemy-held territory. They also acted as insertion/extraction/resupply platforms for US and British Special Forces teams, including patrols sent in to hunt for Iraqi SCUD missile launchers. The MH-53j has since seen action in the Balkans, Afghanistan and returned to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The MH-53j can carry up to 38 troops. It features a rear ramp that enables small vehicles, such as Seal Desert Strike moon buggies to be transported.
To enable the MH-53j to penetrate hostile airspace, it is kitted out with a series of warning systems and countermeasure including jammers and decoy launchers. Up to 3 sets of crew-served machine guns are primed to suppress enemy troops along the route or at extraction/insertion points.
Despite its prestigious history, the MH-53j is ear-marked for eventual replacement by the CV-22 Osprey special operations variant.
MH-53j Pavelow III Specifications
The bumps in the MH-53j's nose are a terrain following radar dome and FLIR pod.
A US Air Force MH-53M Pavelow IV in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003. The MH-53M has an improved defensive suite known as the Interactive Defensive Avionics System/Multi-Mission Advanced Tactical Terminal or IDAS/MATT. This enables the MH-53M to to network with other battlefield systems to detect threats over the horizon and to receive instant information updates.
DOD photo by: SSGT JERRY MORRISON JR., USAF
MH-53j PAVELOW III resources :
MH-53j PHOTOS :
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photo gallery : MH-53j Pavelow III
MH-53j PAVELOW III LINKS :
Sikorsky Helicopters - info on the CH-53 series of helicopters