MH-60G Pave Hawk
The advanced MH-60G Pave Hawks are used for combat rescue and Special Operations support missions and are operated by the United States Air Force (USAF).
The MH-60G Pave Hawk is based around the UH-60 Black Hawk, the standard utility helicopter of the US Air Force and Army. Improvements to the bog-standard Black Hawk include uprated engines and folding components to allow for air transport in USAF cargo planes. Provision for external fuel tanks and a telescopic refueling probe allow for long range operations. Improved avionics include terrain-following radar and forward-looking infra-red. These sensors allow the Pavehawk to operate in all weathers, fly at night and keep below enemy radar by flying at tree-top levels. Due to budget cuts, not all USAF PAve Hawks include the terrain-following radar, although there is a program underway to upgrade as many as possible.
The Pave Hawk flew CSAR missions in the first Gulf War (1991), traveling deep behind Iraqi lines to find and retrieve downed pilots. Such missions were often coordinated with other assets such as A-10 tank busters and F-16 fighters, which provided air cover for the extraction missions. Since their mission requires them operating in hostile air space, the MH-60G is fitted with a host of defensive systems such as chaff/flare launchers attached to the tail boom, radar-warning receivers, hover infrared suppression system and infra-red jammers. A rescue hoist with 250 feet of cable able to lift up to 600 pounds is fitted to recover personnel when landing is not possible.
The Pave Hawk's avionics package includes an APQ-174 terrain-following radar and a Raytheon AAQ-16 FLIR.
USAF MH-60G Pave Hawks from the 301st Rescue Squadron (RS), positioned at a forward-deployed location, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003. These Pave Hawks are armed with GAU 2B/A 7.62mm miniguns.
U.S. DOD photo by SSGT SHANE CUOMO, USAF
MH-60G CSAR | MH-60G Pave Hawk
Sikorsky Helicopters - info on the MH-60G Pavehawk