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MH-60G Pave Hawk

mh-60g pavehawk
USAF MH60g Pavehawk

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.



MH-60G Specifications

mh-60g radar and flir
The Pave Hawk's avionics package includes an APQ-174 terrain-following radar and a Raytheon AAQ-16 FLIR.
Crew 4 - Pilot, Co-pilot & 2 flight-engineers/door-gunners
Engines 2 Two General Electric T700-GE-7001,622 hp engines
Dimensions L - 17.1m
W (rotorspan) - 14.1m
H - 4.4m
Weights 6,114 kg (empty)
9,967 kg (max loadout)
Max Speed 296 kph
Range 964 km with 2x 450 gallon external fuel tanks
Armament 2 gun ports (port/starboard) :
7.62mm miniguns and/or.50 machine guns
Avionics AN/AAQ-16 FLIR
AN/APQ-174B Terrain Following Radar
AN/ARN-148 Omega/VLF navigation
M-130 chaff/flare dispensers
AN/ALQ-144 IR jammer
Radar / Laser warning receivers
Ring-laser inertial navigation system
Global positioning system
Doppler navigation system
TACAN
KG-10 map display unit
Weather avoidance radar
Automatic flight control system


gau-16/a machine gun mounted in a hh-60g pavehawk gun port.
2 gun ports, one each side, contain mounts for weapons such as this GAU 16/A .50 machine gun. The elephant-trunk-like tube coming off the gun is to funnel the ejected shell casings down in a safe manner.
special forces extraction
When landing is not possible, US Special Forces use special patrol insertion-extraction (SPIE) rigging which allows them to be hoisted up and away by mh-60 helicopters.
MH-60G FEATURES
  • telescopic probe attached to fuselage for air-or-air refueling from KC-130 tankers
  • all-weather capability
  • flare launchers on each side of the fuselage
  • HIRSS infra-red suppressor fitted to each engine exhaust
  • radar warning receivers and chaff-launchers to protect against radar-homing threats
  • cockpit compatible with night vision goggles (NVGs)
  • folding stabilizers & rotors allow for air-transport in USAF cargo planes
  • de-icing systems keep the rotors operable in extreme cold
  • external fuel tanks extend max range

mh-60g pavehawk
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

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