Combat King Tanker Refueling Helicopters Looks Like It's Towing Them

HC-130J Combat King II, HH-60G Pave Hawk and HH-60W Jolly Green II 9 photos
Photo: USAF/Senior Airman Hayden Legg
Jolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue Helicopter
For years now, the sight of military aircraft being refueled mid-air has no longer been viewed as something extraordinary. For some reason, people generally tend to associate this operation with airplanes, but helicopters are just as good at aerial refueling, too, like the photo in this piece clearly shows.
The image, captured by Senior Airman Hayden Legg in mid-June and released last week by the U.S. Air Force (USAF), shows a massive HC-130J Combat King II flying with two helicopters in tow—an HH-60G Pave Hawk and an HH-60W Jolly Green II.

The trio of machines was conducting a heritage flight at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia when the picture was taken (click the main photo to enlarge). The two helicopters are deployed with the 41st Rescue Squadron, a unit part of the 347th Rescue Group that since the early 1950s specializes in search and rescue missions.

The Pave Hawk, made by Sikorski, is a 4-people helicopter that can reach a top speed of 221 mph (357 kph) and fly for as much as 373 miles (600 km). It is primarily used for insertion and extraction and packs machine guns for weapons.

This machine, first introduced in 1982, will be replaced by the Jolly Green II with which it is flying in the photo. Also made by Sikorsky, it was first shown in the first months of last year as the HH-60W, nicknamed Jolly Green II in honor of the Vietnam-era helicopters.

According to the company making it, the new helicopter is based on the UH-60M Black Hawk, just like the Pave Hawk, but comes with an improved fuel system that doubles the fuel capacity of the machine, allowing for longer mission times.

The latest when it comes to sensors, defenses, weapons, and cyber-security is also featured on this new machine.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows the Jolly Green II.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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