HH-60 Recap IOC Slips

The Air Force’s new combat rescue helicopters may be delayed up to three years, according to an updated request for information released earlier this week. The initial RFI, filed last October, called for battle-ready helos by the end of 2015; however, the updated version requires the program to reach initial operational capability with a medium risk schedule by Fiscal 2018 “or sooner.” That means eight aircraft—four primary training aircraft and four primary mission aircraft—with training systems and support should be in place by that time. The Air Force intends to eventually replace about 112 HH-60G Pave Hawks, which have been in service since the early 1980s. “The USAF anticipates the HH-60 Recap aircraft will be an existing production helicopter with modifications using existing mature technology with only limited integration of existing subsystem as required,” according to the RFI. The helicopter also should include “multiple situational awareness/tactical data links.” (See also No More Hovering in Helicopter Recap Strategy from the Daily Report archives)