Part of the fleet fielded by the 34th Weapons Squadron of the Weapons School stationed at the Nellis Air Force Base, the helicopter was recently part of a training competition held at the Nevada Test and Training Range. It was one of those moments when USAF’s Weapons School instructors had a chance to get out and show their skills.
And it shows. The squadron’s main job is to train Pave Hawk personnel for air rescue mission. The unit dates back to 1952, and was involved in rescue missions during the Korean War.
As for the Pave Hawk, the 4-people helicopter comes with a maximum speed of 221 mph (357 kph) and a range of 373 miles (600 km). Even if its primary goal is insertion and extraction, it packs a punch, as usually these two operations involve some type of activity very near and even behind enemy lines. As such, the aircraft is packed with machine guns.
As said, Sikorsky is presently working on a replacement for the Pave Hawk. It’s called Jolly Green II, and should come with double the range, achieved thanks to an improved fuel system, and the latest hardware in terms of defenses, weapons, and cyber-security.