New Combat Rescue Helicopter Ready for Production

Sikorsky Combat Rescue Helicopters demonstrated their production readiness during rigorous USAF performance testing at the Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

Sikorsky can now start building small numbers of the Air Force’s new Combat Rescue Helicopter, the HH-60W, for operational use.

The Lockheed Martin subsidiary announced Sept. 24 that the Air Force greenlighted milestone C for the helicopter program, meaning it meets the development requirements to be able to start low-rate initial production.

The Air Force wants to buy 22 helicopters in the first two of eight total lots, and is working toward full-rate production in fiscal 2021.

The HH-60W is replacing older HH-60G Pave Hawks in a $7.1 billion procurement program covering 103 operational helicopters.

Sikorsky told Air Force Magazine earlier this year a contract to start building the first 10 helos will be signed by the end of September.

Deliveries will start in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.