HH-60W Jolly Green II Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH)
The HH-60W program (formerly CRH) will replace the Air Force’s HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter fleet with 112 new air vehicles plus training systems and product support as required for the Personnel Recovery (PR) mission. The program is an ACAT ID in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase.
The program achieved MS B in June 2014, after an extended period of inactivity due to uncertainty in Air Force budget priorities. DASD(SE) participated in a SEP review and approval, a Systems Engineering Working Integrated Product Team (SE WIPT), an OIPT, and the MS B DAB. The program is incorporating sound systems engineering practices into program and contractor activities to ensure effective program execution.
The primary mission of the HH-60W is to recover isolated personnel from hostile or denied territory. HH-60W will also execute humanitarian missions, civil search and rescue, disaster relief, casualty/medical evacuation, and non-combatant evacuation operations. The HH-60W is a dual-piloted, multi-engine, vertical takeoff and landing platform that will provide improved vertical lift capability along with enhanced command and control communications technology to meet Air Force PR mission requirements.
The Air Force's Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) would recover personnel from hostile or denied territory as well as conduct humanitarian, civil search and rescue, disaster relief, and non-combatant evacuation missions. The CRH program is an effort to replace aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. The first effort to replace the HH-60G, the Combat Search and Rescue Replacement Vehicle (CSAR-X), was cancelled in 2009 because of cost concerns stemming from technology development.
The CRH acquisition strategy stated the program would modify an existing, flight proven helicopter by integrating mature subsystems and associated software. The CRH program has identified several planned enhancements to be incorporated from multiple H-60 variants onto the UH-60M helicopter — the platform being leveraged for the CRH. The planned enhancements include a higher capacity electrical system, larger capacity main fuel tanks for extended range, an armor suite for crew protection, situational awareness enhancements which include various tactical data links, and an existing UH-60M engine. The program is also considering integrating a landing sensor, which is being developed to aid pilots with landing in degraded visual environments. A program official stated that, if they were not mature, these technologies would not be integrated on the CRH.
The Air Force officially designated the new combat rescue helicopter (CRH) as the HH-60W on 29 November 2014. The HH-60W, referred to as the 60-Whiskey, would replace HH-60G Pave Hawks which began service in 1982. The official name of the HH-60W would be determined at a later date.
The JROC approved the program CDD in July 2010. A July 2012 JROC Memorandum revalidated the 6 KPPs and clarified 14 of the 27 KSA requirements. The System Specification traces to the CDD and was attached to the RFP. The contractor is developing a design specification traced to the System Specification. The Acquisition Strategy (AS) limits the introduction of new technologies and focuses on the integration of existing systems into a proven air vehicle. The HH-60W requirements were reasonable and stable.
On 26 June 2014 Sikorsky Aircraft, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. was awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to develop new combat search and rescue helicopters. Sikorsky would develop a derivative of the UH-60M BLACK HAWK model for the Air Force’s rescue mission. The award of an estimated $1.28 billion Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract included development and integration of the rescue mission systems; delivery of four Combat Rescue Helicopters; as well as seven aircrew and maintainer training systems.
The Air Force's CRH program began system development in June 2014 without identifying any critical technologies. The program was granted waivers for its technology to be demonstrated in a relevant environment as well as for competitive prototyping. Further, the program did not conduct any systems engineering technical reviews. The program's acquisition strategy states the CRH would modify an existing, flight proven helicopter by integrating mature subsystems and associated software. While the program identified several planned enhancements to be incorporated from multiple H-60 variants onto the Sikorsky UH-60M helicopter — the platform being leveraged for the CRH — the program may not have gained sufficient knowledge to have entered development with the least amount of risk.
Initial training of Air Force aircrew and maintainers and five Combat Rescue Helicopters were also expected to be delivered by 2020, once additional aircraft and training options were exercised. This contract is the first step in the eventual production and fielding of up to 112 aircraft with a potential value of approximately $7.9 billion. Eventual production quantities would be determined year-by-year over the life of the program, based on funding allocations set by Congress and the U.S. Department of Defense acquisition priorities.
The Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) program, formerly called HH-60 Recapitalization, is an effort to replace aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. The primary mission of the Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) air vehicle is to recover isolated personnel from hostile or denied territory; it would also execute humanitarian missions, civil search and rescue, disaster relief, casualty and medical evacuation, and non-combatant evacuation operations.
The program would replace the Air Force's aging HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter fleet with new air vehicles, training systems, and product support elements as required for the personnel-recovery mission. The CRH requirement is for 112 aircraft. The program is the Air Force’s second effort to replace the HH-60G. The first effort, the Combat Search and Rescue Replacement Vehicle (CSAR-X), was canceled in 2009. Since then, the Air Force has reduced the helicopter’s combat radius, survivability, cabin space, payload, and airspeed requirements to lower the program’s cost and ensure that no technology development was needed to satisfy these requirements. The Air Force plans include leveraging in-production air vehicles and training systems while integrating existing technologies to deliver this new combat capability.
The 23rd Wing and 347th Rescue Group received the Air Force’s first two HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopters at Moody Air Force Base, 05 Novembe 2020. Aircrew from the 41st Rescue Squadron out of Moody AFB and the 413th Flight Test Squadron and 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, both at Duke Field, Florida, flew the aircraft from Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky Training Academy. The delivery of the new model is significant to the personnel recovery mission as it begins the transition from the predecessor, the HH-60G Pave Hawk model, which had been flown for more than 26 years. The Air Force will continue to utilize the HH-60G model until the transition is complete.
The HH-60W comes equipped with a wide range of capabilities that will ensure its crews continue carrying out their critical combat search and rescue and personnel recovery operations for all U.S. military services and allies in contested and diverse environments. The Jolly Green II features advanced and improved defensive systems, vulnerability reduction, hover performance, electrical capacity, avionics, cooling, weapons, cyber-security, environmental and net-centric requirements.
The primary mission of the HH-60W helicopter will be conducting day or night operations into hostile environments to recover isolated personnel during war. The platform will also be tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space-flight support, and rescue command and control.
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