The U.S. Air Force declared Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the HH-60W Jolly Green II Combat Rescue Helicopter, validating the platform’s operational readiness to forward deploy Air Force rescue crews around the globe. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company designed and manufactures the HH-60W, which enables the U.S. Air Force to conduct rescue missions at greater ranges and in the most challenging environments, and with increased survivability. As the sole dedicated combat rescue platform in the Department of Defense, the Jolly Green II Combat Rescue Helicopter builds on the decades-long legacy of U.S. Air Force combat rescue and recapitalizes the critical combat search and rescue fleet providing U.S. Air Force combat rescue warriors with the best capability for their critical and demanding lifesaving mission. The HH-60W Jolly Green II, which is replacing the aging HH-60G Pavehawk, was specially built for the Air Force’s combat rescue mission based on fully-vetted operational requirements.
“This declaration is a vote of confidence from U.S. Air Force leadership and demonstrates the critical role of and need for the HH-60W. Sikorsky is committed to continuing deliveries of the Department of Defense’s only dedicated combat search and rescue (CSAR) helicopter and to provide the most capable platform to rescue crews who depend on this aircraft day-in and day-out to conduct vital life-saving missions,” said Nathalie Previte, vice president, Sikorsky Army & Air Force Systems. Capability Highlights:
Expanded aerodynamic and hover performance
Increased main full tank – 644 gallons vs 360 gallons – and air refuellable for greater range
Advanced and integrated survivability and defensive systems
Expanded communications including two Tactical Datalinks & Intel Receivers for Net-centric connectivity to operate in the joint-all domain environment
Higher resolution sensors
Larger main cabin
Upgraded armor and ballistic protection
The next generation helicopter provides enhanced survivability while recovering isolated personnel from hostile territory, day or night, in adverse weather, and in a full range of threat environments. It enables Air Force Combat Rescue Team to fulfill their mission “That Others May Live” and “Leave No One Behind”. The new HH-60W Jolly Green II will replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk fleet. Leveraging the proven survivability and reliability of the H-60M Black Hawk, the HH-60W Jolly Green II incorporates advanced digital design techniques, an open architecture for rapid mission system integration, an air refueling system, upgraded survivability and defensive systems, cabin and cockpit armor, integrated weapons, and increases main fuel tank capacity to 644 gallons. These advanced technologies enable the Jolly Green II to meet the Combatant Commander’s demands of today and the emerging Joint All Domain Operations (JADO) requirements in near peer competition and win in conflict.
Sikorsky has delivered 24 aircraft to the Air Force, including all Engineering & Manufacturing Development and Lot 1 aircraft. Lot 2 deliveries, comprised of 12 aircraft, began in June of this year. Sikorsky has been awarded four production lots to date, most recent recently Lot 4 for 14 aircraft in February 2022. The contract for Lot 5 for an additional 10 or more aircraft is expected to be awarded by the Air Force in 2023. Sikorsky is an American aircraft manufacturer based in Stratford, Connecticut. It was established by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky in 1923 and was among the first companies to manufacture helicopters for civilian and military use. Previously owned by United Technologies Corporation, in November 2015 Sikorsky was sold to Lockheed Martin. Sikorsky’s main plant and administrative offices are located in Stratford, Connecticut, as is a large company-owned private heliport. Other Sikorsky facilities are in Trumbull, Shelton, and Bridgeport, Connecticut with small company heliport; Fort Worth, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida; and Huntsville and Troy, Alabama.