Air Combat Commander Gen. Mark Kelly issued the IOC declaration, signaling the aircraft’s readiness for 30-day deployment to independent locations around the world, the branch said Wednesday.
Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky’s parent company, said that the HH-60W was designed to replace the HH60-G Pavehawk fleet used in critical combat and rescue operations. Jolly Green II features enhanced range and survivability that allows for safer transport in adverse weather and hostile environments.
The next-generation helicopter is also equipped with new air refueling and avionics systems, as well as digital design techniques that enable faster communication and data transmission, and compatibility with other platforms.
USAF has so far awarded four production lot contracts to Sikorsky. The manufacturer has delivered 24 units of the aircraft, with at least 10 more under way through a new contract to be awarded in 2023.