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Getting to know you: MARQing the Pave Hawk.

[1] Helicopter maintainers from the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron perform preflight checks on an HH-60 Pave Hawk at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Helicopter maintainers here ensure Bagram’s combat search and rescue helicopters are ready to fly at a moment’s notice. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys, 26 DEC 2015.)

[2] U.S. Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Harold Hutchison, Pacific Air Forces command chief, receive a tour of an HH-60G Pavehawk at the 33rd Rescue Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan. O’Shaughnessy received a mission overview of the rescue squadron’s challenges and capabilities operating in the Indo-Asia Pacific Theater. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Omari Bernard, 11 AUG 2016.)

[3] An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 943rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., refuels from an HC-130 P/N King aircraft from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., over Portland, Oregon. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Anna-Marie Wyant, 27 JUL 2013.)

[4] Airmen from the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron taxi out on HH-60G Pave Hawks, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Members of the 83rd ERQS participate in a personnel recovery exercise in order to maintain proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Justyn M. Freeman, 9 JUN 2016.)


The Pave Hawk is a heavily customized and reinforced Sikorsky UH60 Black Hawk airframe, redesigned and outfitted to meet the needs of the US Air Force’s unique mission requirements. It is equipped with automatic flight control system, inertial navigation system, global positioning system and lightweight airborne recovery system.

The avionics suite installed in the HH-60G include AN/APN-235 Doppler navigation system, AN/APN-239 weather avoidance radar, AN/AAQ-16 forward looking infra-red (FLIR) imaging system, PRC-112 survival radio, An/ARC-210 SATCOM, AN/APN-239 colour weather radar, AN/ARC-220 earth digital radio and AN/ARC-222 SINCGARS radio system.

The HH-60G is also equipped with an AN/ALQ-202 radio jammer, AN/ALQ-213 electronic warfare management system, AN/APR-39 radar warning receiver, AN/ALQ-144 infra-red countermeasure system, infra-red missile jammer, infra-red suppression system and flare / chaff dispensers.

The HH-60G can fly at a maximum speed of 360km/h. Its cruise speed is 294km/h. The range and service ceiling of the aircraft are 933km and 4,328m respectively. The maximum flight endurance is 4.2 hours. DRS Defense Solutions was contracted by the US Air Force in January 2012 to upgrade the HH-60G Pave Hawk with improved altitude hold and hover stabilization (IAHHS) at a cost of $12m.

The Pave Hawk can be equipped with two crew-served M240 7.62mm machine guns or GAU-21 .50 caliber machine guns.

Republic of Korea, 1994

A paratrooper from the 320th Special Tactics Squadron (STS), Kadena Air Base, Japan floats towards the earth after a HALO jump, at 10,000 ft, from a HC-130 aircraft during the training exercise.
Exact Date Shot Unknown

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – An HC-130P/N King refuels HH-60 Pave Hawks April 15, 2010, over the desert surrounding Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., during Angel Thunder 2010. The HC-130 is with the 71st Rescue Squadron at Moody AFB, Ga. Angel Thunder 2010, an Air Combat Command-ponsored exercise, will be the largest personnel recovery and combat search and rescue exercise to date, combining Department of Defense and non-DOD assets.

The crew of an HC-130 Hercules airplane begins their preflight checks. The crew flew cover and managed communications for a Navy SH-60 crew on a medevac of a 58-year-old mariner 184 north of Oahu. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers / Released)