MH-60G Pave Hawk
The MH-60G Pave Hawk is a twin-engine medium-lift helicopter operated by the Air Force Special Operations Command, a component of the US Special Operations Command. The MH-60G's primary wartime missions are infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in day, night or marginal weather conditions. Other missions include combat search and rescue. It provides the capability of independent rescue operations in combat areas up to and including medium threat environments. Recoveries are made by landing or by alternate means, such as rope ladder or hoist. Low-level tactical flight profiles are used to avoid threats. Night Vision Goggle (NVG) and Forward Looking Infared (FLIR) assisted low-level night operations and night water operation missions are performed by specially trained crews. The MH-60G is equipped with an all-weather radar which enables the crew to avoid inclement weather. Prior to 2002, all Pave Hawks were designated HH-60G. After 2002, those tasked with supporting special operations forces, were redesignated as MH-60Gs.
MH-60G Pave Hawks are equipped with folding rotor blades and a tail stabilator for shipboard operations and to ease air transportability. The non-retractable landing gear consists of two main landing gears and a tail wheel. The basic crew normally consists of 5: pilot, copilot, flight engineer, and 2 pararescuemen. The aircraft can also carry 8-10 troops if required. Aft sliding doors on each side of the troop and cargo compartment allow rapid loading and unloading. MH-60G Pave Hawks are equipped with a rescue hoist with a 200-foot (60.7 meters) cable and 600-pound (270 kilograms) lift capacity. The helicopter hoist can recover survivors from a hover height of 200 feet above the ground or vertical landings can be accomplished into unprepared areas. The hoist can recover a Stokes litter patient or three people simultaneously on a forest penetrator. External loads can be carried on an 8,000 pound (3,600 kilograms) capacity cargo hook. The MH-60G Pave Hawk has provisions for the External Stores Support System (ESSS).
The helicopter has limited self-protection provided by side window mounted weapons. These have included the M60, M240, GAU-2B/A, GAU-17/A, and GAU-21/A machine guns. The HH-60G Pave Hawk is most commonly equipped with 2 crew-served 7.62mm "Miniguns" mounted in the cabin windows. Also, 2 .50 caliber machine guns could be mounted in the cabin doors, though the stability when firing from this position was found to be less than ideal and the weapons limited ingress and egress from the main cabin. An APR-39A(V)1 radar warning receiver, ALQ-144A infrared jammer, Hover Infrared Suppression System (HIRSS), M130 chaff dispenser, and precision navigation equipment (GPS, Inertial Navigation System (INS), Doppler) afford additional threat avoidance and protection.
The maximum speed is 193 knots, with a cruise speed of 120 to 140 knots. Unrefueled range is 480 nautical miles, with a combat load and aircraft at maximum gross weight of 22,000 pounds. The combat radius is approximately 200 nautical miles. Inflight refueling greatly extends this range. HH-60G Pave Hawks are equipped with a retractable in-flight refueling probe and internal auxiliary fuel tanks.
The maximum speed is 193 knots with a cruise speed of 120 to 140 knots. Unrefueled range is 480 nautical miles (NM), with a combat load and aircraft at maximum gross weight of 22,000 lbs; the combat radius is approximately 200NM. Inflight refueling extends this range. Pave Hawks are equipped with a retractable in-flight refueling probe and internal auxiliary fuel tanks.
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