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HH-60 Rescue / MEDEVAC Aircraft

In the US military's Mission Design Series (MDS) designation system for aerospace vehicles, the modified mission prefix letter "H" stands for Search and Rescue / MEDEVAC. With regards to the H-60 airframe, variants designated with the H prefix range from helicopters capable of performing multiple utility missions to those designed specifically to support special operations forces.

Across the US military services, such aircraft in the H-60 family are tasked with search and rescue functions in combat and non-combat scenarios. The US Army had operated the most types of HH-60, starting with their introduction of the HH-60A. The US Air Force had investigate purchasing a similar variant, the HH-60E, before developing the HH-60G. The US Army subsequently developed improved versions of the HH-60, based on the UH-60L and the UH-60M.

In addition, other services operated HH-60 types in a variety of secondary missions. The US Coast Guard's HH-60J and HH-60T helicopters also conduct law enforcement, military readiness, and marine environmental protection missions. Until 2002, the US Air Force's HH-60G Pave Hawks conduted missions in support of special operations forces. After 2002, aircraft performing these roles, though essentially identical to the HH-60G, were redesignated as MH-60Gs. Air Force Pave Hawks traced their heritage to prototype HH-60Ds developed by the US Air Force. The US Navy also utilized their HH-60Hs for special warfare support.




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