The service branch issued the decision after a joint team of Sikorsky and Air Force testing personnel subjected the aircraft to envelope expansion flights for more than 70 hours, Lockheed said Tuesday.
HH-60W is designed to carry out personnel recovery and search-and-rescue operations in support of military services. The aircraft is based on the Black Hawk helicopter and features a new fuel system that increases the UH-60M helicopter’s tank capacity by twofold.
Lockheed said five HH-60W helicopters are in various production phases at Sikorsky’s facility in Stratford, Conn. The Air Force’s program of record requires 113 aircraft to replace the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.