Support: September 25, 2002


The Air Force needs a new search and rescue aircraft by 2015 (when the current HH-60Gs are due to retire). Candidates include the HH-60X, the EH-101, the CH-53, the HV-22, and the S-92 (which has already been picked by the Air Force as the helicopter it wants). The Air Force wants the new aircraft to be able to operate at longer ranges, in worse weather, at higher altitudes, and in more rugged terrain than the current HH-60G. Operating in Afghanistan (flying from bases in Pakistan) has been a strain for the HH-60Gs. Because of the demand for rescue work to support air attacks, the Air Force plans to take C-130s and other aircraft from reserve units and create a new active duty rescue squadron at Davis Monthan, Arizona. Also in the works are new radio and navigation systems to make rescues more accurate and less dangerous.--Stephen V Cole


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