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military helicopters • gunships • army attack helicopters
military helicopters

MH-53j Pavelow III

mh-53j pavelow iii
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

pavelow flir and radar dome
The bumps in the MH-53j's nose are a terrain following radar dome and FLIR pod.
Crew Pilot, Co-pilot + 3 crew chiefs/gunners
Engines 2x4,380hp GE T63-GE-415 Turboshafts
Dimensions L - 20.47m
W (rotor diameter) - 24.08m
H - 7.6m
Weights 10,690 kg (empty)
19,051 kg (max loadout)
Max Speed 315 kph
Range 900 km - with external fuel pods
Armament 3 gun ports (port/starboard and rear) :
m134 7.62mm miniguns and/or .50 M2 HB machine guns
Avionics APR-39 Radar Hazard Warning Set
ALE-39 Chaff and Flare Dispenser
ALQ-157 Infrared Jammer
AAR-47 Missile Warning System
Doppler terrain following/avoidance radar
Inertial GPS navigation
Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR)
Secure radio communications

pavelow m2 machine gun
The MH-53j is festooned with crew-served weapons such as 7.62 Miniguns and .50 M2 HB machine guns - 1 on each side + the rear ramp.
pavelow external fuel tanks
To enable the MH-53j to carry out long range missions, it carries 2 external fuel tanks, each old up to 450 gallons of fuel. These tanks nearly double the MH-53j's range out to 900km and can be jettisoned when used up. A refueling probe allows the Pavelow III to top-up from airborne tankers.
  • titanium armour plating around cockpit and fuel tanks
  • advanced secure communications
  • in-flight refueling via probe attached to fuselage
  • advanced inertial and GPS navigation
  • folding main rotors and tail boom air-transportable in C5-Galaxy cargo planes
  • infra-red suppressors fitted to engine exhaust pipes reduce the helicopter's heat signature
  • infra-red jammers and flare launchers to confuse heat-seeking missiles
  • radar warning receivers and chaff-launchers to protect against radar-homing threats

mh-53m pavelow IV
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.

MH-53j PAVELOW III resources :
mh-53mmh-53 pavelowmh-53j - ladder extractionmh-53j - SEAL insertionmh-53 pavelow refueling
(click thumbnails for fullsize images)
photo gallery : MH-53j Pavelow III

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