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U.S. Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawks assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron fly in formation over Kadena Air Base, Japan, April 16, 2024. The Pave Hawk is a highly modified version of the Army Black Hawk helicopter which features upgraded communications and navigation suite along with automatic flight control system, night vision goggles, color weather radar and an engine/rotor blade anti-ice system. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jessi Roth)

Kadena Air Base, Japan. (April 16, 2024): For downed pilots in need of rescue, there is no better combination than the mighty Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk and their valiant crews. In this photo by Staff Sergeant Jessi Roth, Airmen assigned to the 33rd Rescue Squadron fly the Pave Hawk, a highly modified version of the Army Black Hawk helicopter, for rescue and humanitarian missions.

Built by Sikorsky Aircraft, The Pave Hawk (Pave equals Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment) specializes in day or night personnel recovery operations into hostile environments and civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, and disaster response during humanitarian assistance missions.

The Pave Hawk has an upgraded communications and navigation system that includes forward looking infrared radar for night operations, automatic flight control, night vision goggles, and color weather radar. It also has an engine/rotor blade anti-ice system to help operate in adverse weather. The new navigation suite includes integrated inertial navigation/global positioning/Doppler navigation, satellite communications, and secure voice communications.

In terms of armament, the Pave Hawk can more than protect itself with two crew-served 7.62mm or .50 caliber machineguns as well as a radar warning receiver, infrared jammer, and a flare/chaff countermeasure dispensing system.

Designed to carry a crew of four (two pilots, one flight engineer, and one gunner), the Pave Hawk can fly at a cruising speed of 183 mph with a max speed of 222 mph. With an Inflight refueling probe and auxiliary fuel tanks, the Pave Hawk can travel longer distances than other rescue helicopters. To improve air transportability and shipboard operations, all Pave Hawks have folding rotor blades.

American Pave Hawk crews have aided hundreds of U.S., coalition, and foreign-national personnel by conducting personnel recovery and medical evacuations. For downed pilots or others in need of rescue, the mighty Pave Hawk and her crew stand ready.