USAF Unveils First Replacement Pave Hawk

The Air Force on June 28 introduced its first of 21 new HH-60G Pave Hawks built to replace helicopters lost in combat since 2001. The aircraft was unveiled during a ceremony in Huntsville, Ala., as part of an operational loss replacement program to build the HH-60G fleet to the original authorized size of 112, according to an Air Force release. The service purchased UH-60L Black Hawks, and added equipment and other modifications to outfit them for the combat search and rescue role—“a completely re-missionized helicopter that is fully capable of successfully executing the combat rescue mission,” Brig. Gen. Eric Fick, director of global reach programs with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, said in the release. “This effort began in October 2012 and required the program office and SES to integrate all of the modifications implemented on the HH-60G fleet throughout its more than 30-year history into a single technical data package,” states the release. “As a result, the aircraft introduced June 28 will have several systems upgrades that are only now beginning to reach the rest of the HH-60G fleet. After initial testing, Air National Guard units in California, Alaska, and New York will begin receiving aircraft in Fiscal 2018, “while former Guard aircraft will re-flow to Active units with the highest number of flight hours,” significantly reducing the overall age of the Guard’s HH-60 fleet, states the release.